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Challenge the Fabric connected leaders within the fashion, textile, and forest industries to drive collective change

By Press Club


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For the second edition of Challenge the Fabric (CTF), industry professionals engaged in panel discussions with a focus on cross-industry collaboration and innovation. By connecting prominent brands and forward-thinking suppliers, CTF is increasing awareness about biobased, man-made cellulosic fibre (MMCF) material. The pioneering initiative presented a unique opportunity for the entire supply chain to meet and act for change.

At the Challenge the Fabric symposium in Paris on May 17 at Institut Suédois, barriers to growth and possibilities for collective actions within fashion, textile and forest industries was identified. The prominent panelists included Sara Mariani, Chief Sustainability Officer at OTB Group, Christine Goulay, Global Director at Pangaia Science, Dio Kurazawa, Co-Founder of the Bear Scouts, Shahriare Mahmood, Chief Sustainability Officer at Spinnova, Romain Brabo, Co-Founder of LVMH Nona Source, Komal Singh, Senior Color and Material Designer at Polestar, Shameek Ghosh, CEO and Co-Founder of TrusTrace, Johannes Bogren, Vice President at Södra Cell Bioproducts, Caroline Ledl, Head of Product Management at Lenzing, Dr. Marina Crnoja-Cosic, Director New Business Development at Kelheim Fibres GmbH and more.


Material innovations are key to solving the unsustainable strain on our planet’s resources. Cross-industry collaboration helps to expose innovators, from opposing industries to meaningful material solutions and practices often unknown or overlooked. I’m so very impressed by The Swedish Fashion Council and Ekman & Co, and their work with the Challenge the Fabric initiative.

Dio Kurazawa, Co-Founder, The Bear Scouts VOF

The panel discussions deep-dived into the themes of cross-industry work, as well as the challenges and opportunities with MMCF from a brand and producer perspective. In addition, the panels highlighted existing issues facing the pulp producers and their wish to solve them, and the current state and future of next generation feedstock. Industry members expressed their joint goals to displace the demand of fossil fuel-based textiles, and the implementation of sustainable production processes to reduce the carbon footprint. CTF offers a place for actors within the entire value chain to meet and open the dialogue about the MMCF. During the day, it became clear that conversations between brands, suppliers and producers need to happen on a regular basis.

Challenge the Fabric has a unique place in today's sustainable fashion and innovation landscape. By bringing together brands (both big and small), supply chain partners, innovators, and experts, we can come together to work toward actionable change.

Christine Goulay, Global Director, PANGAIA Science

The global event, initiated by Ekman & Co and organized by the Swedish Fashion Council, took place at Institut Suédois in Paris and is a long-term initiative. Challenge the Fabric was first launched during London Fashion Week in 2018. For this first edition, talents from the world’s best ranked design schools were nominated to the CTF Award with the assignment to create designs out of MMCF fabrics. The winner, selected by remarkable jurors of global industry professionals, was awarded the prestigious CTF prize of 30 000 Euros. The Challenge the Fabric Advisory Board consists of IKEA of Sweden, Textile Exchange, Kelheim Fibres, Swedish Fashion Council and Ekman & Co.

Collaboration was a key-topic throughout the CTF symposium. Behind it, there is the commitment of companies, researchers, innovative startups, and experts to join forces to create true purpose and scale up projects.

Sara Mariani, Chief Sustainability Officer, OTB

Challenge the Fabric is a unique platform for meeting companies that have similar commitments & sustainability goals like Polestar. There is a lot we can achieve by just coming together and sharing our knowledge across industries.

Komal Singh, Color & Material Designer at Polestar

Innovations on cellulosic fiber is so critical in solving the challenges in the fashion industry. CTF is really able to bring the stakeholders together to make it impactful and expedite the progress.

Shahriare Mahmood, Chief Sustainability Officer, Spinnova

Challenge The Fabric brings a new dimension to the discussions on how to accelerate sustainable transformation in fashion. It gathers industry actors throughout the MMCF supply chain in an innovative manner, from fiber producers to brands as well as tech and innovation solution providers. TrusTrace is committed to sustainable transformation through traceability and Challenge the Fabric is an excellent platform.

Shameek Ghosh, CEO, TrusTrace

CTF is unique in that it brings together all the different stakeholders from across the cellulose based textile fibre supply chain. The common goal: to nurture collaboration amongst industry players to achieve a more sustainable and commercially viable industry.

Oliver Landsell, Director, Hawkins Wright

Collaboration is key in order to drive change. The aim with the Challenge the Fabric event was to create a platform to increase the dialogue between the different stakeholders in the MMCF supply chain, to accelerate the development forward. We are very happy with the outcome of CTF2022, and we will continue to keep the dialogue going.

Nina Elmersson, Vice President Ekman Innovare

Cross-industry collaborations are vital to accelerate the work towards a more sustainable future. Challenge the Fabric will create a long-term impact for the global fashion industry.

Jennie Rosén, CEO Swedish Fashion Council
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