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Key Talking Points Voiced at Functional Fabric Fair NY

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The Focus Topic of the Functional Fabric Fair NY show, “The Journey to Carbon Neutrality,” originated earlier this Spring at the Portland, OR event, and has set the stage for industry conversation in 2022. Subjects around circularity, regenerative agriculture, designing for recyclability and how best to measure and manage material environmental footprints generated considerable buzz during the July Functional Fabric Fair, powered by Performance Days, event. 

Here, three top takeaways based on casual chit chat in the aisles as well as discussion presented during Expert Talks:


   1. The Journey to Carbon Neutrality is going to be a long and winding road. The industry will learn, evolve and innovate as execs lean into achieving corporate sustainability goals set for 2030 and 2050. However, while progress will certainly be made, the path will likely be bumpy at times. The recent dust up surrounding the Higg MSI data is a good example. Raising awareness about how to go forward with evaluating material impacts will prove positive in the long run, even if it also raises some eyebrows along the way. 

   2. Regenerative agriculture is increasingly gaining ground and being integrated into supply chains by big industry players. TNF, Patagonia, Timberland, Eileen Fisher and Kering Group all have regenerative farming initiatives in place. Will regenerative methods change the world? Too soon to tell. But a point is being made: If you’re really going to be sustainable, you have to be regenerative. 

   3. The scope of sustainable materials is widening. The action is no longer reserved to upcycled garments and eco textiles for clothing. The focus on long-lasting recycled, plant-based and natural fiber-derived material for the footwear and bag segment is robust. Sustainable content for footwear now includes recycled poly, recycled nylon, recycled wool, recycled rubber, waterless dyed jacquards and eco performance membranes. Similarly, the accessories and trims category offers sustainable options such as bio-based seam sealing tape and dope dyed neon polyester. 

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