Report | 2023

We Can Cut Petrochemicals Use Today: Textiles

By Sasha Bylsma, TJ Conway, Tania Evans, Joseph Fallurin, Meghan Peltier, Jikai Wang
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In the final installment of RMI’s insight report series on reducing petrochemical demand, the authors examine the increasing emissions and waste consequences of the clothing textile industry. This report details the impacts of the rise of synthetic fiber use in clothing, and the current obstacles on the paths of producing bio-based and recycled fibers as alternatives.

The mounting challenge presents an opportunity to align businesses and consumers on best practices to transition from the conventional “take-make-waste” linear model to decarbonized, circular systems. The authors posit several intervention points for stakeholders throughout the supply chain that are necessary for this transition, as well as describe some of the emerging digital, regulatory, and financial approaches that are key to realizing action.