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Changing the world through fashion at Rio+20
Jun '12
The Danish Fashion Institute invites major players in the fashion industry to inspire participants of the Rio+20 summit on sustainable development. One of the solutions lies within innovative ways of applying enzymes in the production – saving water, replacing chemicals and lowering CO2 emissions.

The official Rio+20 event ‘Changing the World Through Fashion’ takes place today on (June 18) at Windsor Barra Hotel, Avenida Lucio Costa 2630, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Fashion is one of the most polluting industries in the world, second only to oil in terms of its environmental impact. 25% of chemicals produced worldwide are used for textiles and the industry is often noted as the number 2 polluter of clean water – after agriculture. The textile industry is the third largest industry in the world, and production of clothes for the growing world population requires huge amounts of energy and water as well as the use of toxic chemicals.

Along with major industry players like H&M, Gucci, PPR Group, and the United Nations Global Compact it is the aim of the Danish Fashion Institute to use the Rio+20 Corporate Sustainability Forum as a platform for an increased focus on the environmental, climate and social issues within the global fashion industry and show how the industry can contribute with solutions.

The official event on June 18 includes presentations from key industry stakeholders such as:

  • Martin Lidegaard, Danish Minister for Climate, Energy and Building
  • Rossella Ravagli, Head of Sustainability, Gucci
  • Katharine Hamnett, Designer
  • Summer Rayne Oakes, Co-founder, Source4Style
  • Holly Dublin, Director and Special Advisor, Sustainability, PPR
  • Dov Brachfeld, Global Environmental Sustainability Controller, H&M
  • Fleming Voetmann, Director, Novozymes
  • Georg Kell, Executive Director, UN Global Compact

The session will be facilitated by Connie Nielsen, actress, and Co-Founder and President of the Human Needs Project.

Enzymes – a part of the solution

Enzymes have been used in the production of textiles to save water, raise energy efficiency, and minimize use of chemicals for over 60 years and have already a proven track record of environmental benefits. However the great potential of these technologies has yet to be fulfilled – the numbers speaks for them self: On a global scale the textile industry produces millions and millions of t-shirts every year. Life-cycle assessments indicate savings of 70,000 liters of water and 1 ton of CO2 per ton knitted fabric when using enzymes. This equals savings of 20–30 liters of water and a reduction of 0.3 kg CO2 for each T-shirt produced.

The Danish Fashion Institute

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