Innovator Spotlight: The GFA Monitor

Learn more about members of Global Fashion Agenda’s Innovation Forum paving the way for industry-wide transformation across the five priorities of the GFA Monitor.

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As we approach this year’s Global Fashion Summit, we showcase just some of the solutions providers exhibiting either virtually or in person in the Innovation Forum – an integral part of Global Fashion Agenda’s GFA Academy. The Innovation Forum serves as a catalyst for action, connecting leading sustainable solutions with fashion brands and retailers to drive meaningful transformation.

Each of these innovators in the Forum is aligned with the priorities of the Fashion CEO Agenda framework, demonstrating real-world applications that can advance respect for human rights, fair compensation systems, responsible material choices, and circular economy principles.

The GFA Monitor is a comprehensive guide for fashion companies, consolidating existing knowledge, clear actions, credible tools, and proven best practices across these five sustainability priorities which underpin the industry’s journey towards a net positive future.

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Respectful & Secure Work Environments

The fashion industry has a responsibility to uphold the respect of universal human rights for all people employed along the value chain. Collectively, fashion brands, producers, and their partners have an opportunity to drive positive socio-economic development by upholding human rights, creating secure working conditions, paying fair wages, and promoting well-being.

TrusTrace offers a market-leading platform for supply chain traceability and compliance, enabling brands and suppliers around the world to standardize how supply chain and material traceability data is captured, digitized and shared. Through providing access to validated supply chain data, TrusTrace empowers brands to identify, understand and improve the impact of their supply chain. The data can be used for risk management, compliance, product claims and footprint calculations, offering the ability to share data confidently and easily about product origin, impact, and much more.

 

Haelixa is a traceability solutions provider, providing a unique fingerprint for each party involved in the supply chain. Today’s globalised production can make this challenging to decipher, which is why Helixa, a spin-off of the SwissFederal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich), is committed to closing traceability gaps. This is achieved by using physical marker based on DNA. The Haelixa solution for natural textile fibres (i.e. cotton, wool, cashmere, silk, etc.) can be easily integrated into existing automated production processes. Testing can be done with the final garment or at any stage of the supply chain to verify the authenticity of the product and detect any blending. The marker itself is harmless and does not affect the properties of the product in a way, yet it is robust enough to survive industrial processing.

Better Wage Systems

Effective systems to enable brands and producers to pay all workers fair compensation and a living wage are essential to ensuring workers can live in dignity and support their families. Fashion brands can make a difference by working with their partners to ensure responsible purchasing practices and promote worker rights to freedom of association, helping to end poverty for millions of garment workers globally.

Positive Luxury is the sustainability expert for the global luxury industry. By helping businesses meet higher standards for people and nature, Positive Luxury is transforming luxury for the good of all. Since 2011, the organisation has exclusively worked with luxury, so has a deeper understanding of its unique ecosystems. Positive Luxury’s small team of experts give unrivalled support and collaboration to over 200 global brands, retailers, and suppliers to shape a sustainable future. The organisation does this through its proprietary Butterfly Methodology, comprised of an ESG+ assessment, risk and opportunity mapping tools, transition strategy and verification through Butterfly Mark certification, supported with communication tools and coaching. This comprehensive range of sustainability services also includes carbon accounting, an enterprise platform solution, and consultancy projects.

 

OEKO-TEX® has for 30 years been offering standardised solutions that companies in the textile and leather industry can use to transparently and sustainably optimise their manufacturing processes. Based on scientific principles, OEKO-TEX® contributes to bringing high-quality, safe, and sustainable products onto the market. 21,000 manufacturers, brands, and trading companies in more than 100 countries are currently working with OEKO-TEX®. At the same time, millions of consumers around the world use the OEKO-TEX® labels as a guide for their responsible purchasing decisions. Products and suppliers certified by OEKO-TEX® can be found online in the OEKO-TEX® buying guide.

Resource Stewardship

To achieve vital decarbonisation targets and protect our environment and its inhabitants for generations to come, the fashion industry must adopt a holistic stewardship approach in which value creation is decoupled from finite natural resources. This approach will require stakeholders from across fashion’s value chain to drive innovation in new materials, manufacturing methods and business models.

Sparxell creates the next generation of colours and effects by pioneering the world’s first plant-based performant colourants inspired by nature. Sparxell’s technology platform empowers brands to meet evolving regulations and consumer trends towards sustainable colourants. The innovative products deliver colour vibrancy and effects usually obtained from metals, minerals, and dyes often combined with plastics. Spparxell’s products transform industries like cosmetics, fashion, packaging, and more, combining biodegradability, non-toxicity, and low carbon footprint with the best optical performance.

 

Unspun is a fashion company with technology in its veins. The company’s latest innovation, Vega™️, mixes fashion and sustainable innovation. This first-of-its-kind 3D jacquard weaving machine makes woven garments straight from yarn and skips the weaving, dying, cutting, and sewing of fabric that’s traditionally involved in producing garments. Vega™️ – which won a Time’s Best Invention award in 2021 – has the potential to fix issues with today’s complex global supply chains. Deployed in microfactories, it eliminates the need for large order quantities while reducing transport emissions and lead times. In July 2023, Unspun opened the world’s first 3D-weaving-powered microfactory and plans to set up the next facility in Europe in 2024.

Smart Material Choices

In order to reduce the industry’s footprint from fibre and raw material production, responsible sourcing of preferred fibre and raw materials will be necessary, ensuring that they consistently deliver reduced impact and increased benefits for climate, nature and people compared with their conventional equivalents, through a holistic approach to transforming production systems.

OnceMore® produces high-quality dissolving pulp made of blended textile waste and wood from sustainably managed Swedish forests. OnceMore® is a part of Södra, Sweden’s largest forest owners’ association, which has a world leading industry that processes forest raw material into renewable products.

 

Modern Meadow is a climate-tech pioneer creating the future of materials through innovations in biology and material science. The bio-materials technology platform with nature-inspired protein solutions delivers better performance, sustainability, scalability, and cost while reducing reliance on petrochemical and animal-based inputs. Modern Meadow offers “plug and play” technologies that can be dropped into existing global manufacturing environments, allowing partners to bring next-gen products to industries such as Fashion, Footwear, Outdoor, Automotive but also Beauty. Right now, Modern Meadow bio-materials are helping visionary companies bring high-quality, sustainable products to market. Together, they are showing the world that Bio-innovation drives results.

Circular Systems

To decouple economic development from consumption of finite resources, the fashion industry must ensure a just transition towards a circular economy in which waste and pollution are eliminated, products and materials are circulated and nature is regenerated. In doing so, it must take advantage of growing consumer demand for new ways to access fashion, such as through the rental and resale markets.

Sci-Lume Labs develops Bylon, the truly circular apparel fibre without compromise. Bylon is made using highly efficient chemistries to transform agricultural waste into its renewable feedstock. Bylon is a thermoplastic polymer that can drop into existing synthetic fibre manufacturing facilities. At end-of-life, Bylon is 100% recyclable and biodegradable. Finally, Bylon offers familiar performance versatility and seamless integration into conventional downstream yarn and textile processing. By selectively combining the best of natural and synthetic fibre properties into a single product, Bylon is uniquely capable of achieving the large-scale adoption needed to enable a circular apparel future. With Bylon, apparel brands and manufacturers can now meet their sustainability targets without compromising on cost or performance.

 

Cycle Platform is the first ever transversal platform to join the textile industry’s primary and secondary markets by following a product along its entire lifecycle. Cycle integrates two solutions: CyclePlatform.com, the front-end e-commerce that pioneers a novel consumer purchase/repurchase model, and CyclePlatform.tech, the back-end technological platform dedicated to aiding the fashion industry in the individualised identification of each garment along the entire product lifecycle, following the ESPR and DPP regulation guidelines.

 

 

Download The GFA Monitor 2023 today to explore comprehensive solutions and drive positive change.

Meet the innovators and join us at this year’s Global Fashion Summit: Copenhagen Edition 2024 to connect with industry leaders driving sustainable transformation. Secure your ticket now to engage with the latest in sustainable fashion and collaborate towards a brighter future for the industry.

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