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Consumers consider wood a sustainable textile raw material

By Andrea Byrne


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In an international study, ‘Consumer perceptions of the sustainability of the clothing industry and textile fibres’, consumers give their view on these materials, provided by Finnish sustainable fibre innovation company, Spinnova.

The study found that 86 percent of consumers thought of wood as the most sustainable material out of those available, however, wood was considered not appealing as a textile due to both environmental and quality reasoning, according to Spinnova.

Spinnova’s CEO and co-founder, Janne Poranen, said in a statement: “When the Spinnova fibre is made of farmed wood, the raw material value chain is CO2 positive.

“This means the trees are a larger carbon sink than the lumbering, pulping and logistics combined emit. Therefore concerns over excessive lumbering and native forest use are mostly unnecessary.”

Consumers believe brand sustainability is the most important sign of conscious buying. Still, only a third of respondents said that textiles affect their buying decisions.

“This supports the idea that brand owners should be as transparent as possible about their sustainability efforts and even the environmental impacts of individual products,” Poranen continued.

There was a variance in the attitudes of textile raw materials. For crude oil, 1 percent of the Finnish respondents thought it to be sustainable, compared to 26 percent of Americans. For cotton, 65 percent of the French respondents considered it to be a sustainable raw material, whereas only 29 percent of the Finnish respondents agreed to that idea.

There were 1,572 respondents across Finland, France, Germany, Sweden and the USA for this study in the spring of 2020, as thesis work in the environmental management department of the University of Jyväskylä, Finland.

Photo credit: Spinnova, Facebook

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