Novozymes brings sustainability to the catwalk

Novozymes to collaborate with the Danish Fashion Institute on a project aimed at making the textile and fashion industry more sustainable.

Novozymes has entered into a collaborative project with the Danish Fashion Institute to create a sustainable textile industry.

“We need to enter new partnerships and find new ways in the industry, but we also need politicians to set a framework in order to create a sustainable change in the textile industry,” says Sebastian Søderberg, Director at Novozymes.

The textile industry is massive, and production of clothes for the growing world population requires huge amounts of energy and water as well as the use of toxic chemicals. Fashion is one of the most polluting industries in the world, second only to oil in terms of its environmental impact.
Novozymes is now partnering with the Danish Fashion Institute in a project to make sustainability in the textile industry fashionable – for good.

Action is needed now – Also from politicians
On Novozymes’ motivation for entering this new collaboration with the Danish Fashion Institute, Sebastian Søderberg says:
”In order to pave the way for a more sustainable industry it's crucial that we take new initiatives and work together across sectors and industries. But it's also important that politicians set a framework that will foster more sustainable development in the industry.

”Chemicals, pollution and the use of large amounts of water are still quite cheap in many parts of the world. An idea as simple as political commitment on introducing an industry standard that retailers and brands will find useful could be an idea. Any kind of initiatives that will foster local legislation could also prove valuable”, adds Sebastian Søderberg.  
A sustainable textile industry is possible
Enzymes have been used in the production of textiles for more than 60 years and have already a proven track record of environmental benefits.
On a global scale the textile industry produces billions and billions of T-shirts every year. A life cycle assessment (LCA) conducted by Novozymes indicates 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!

“It's possible to rethink every aspect of the textile industry and make it more sustainable. Biotechnology gives us the tools to replace the harsh chemicals widely used in the industry. This means less pollution from textile mills. Biotechnology also enables the industry to significantly lower its energy and water consumption,” Sebastian Søderberg explains. 

Starting a movement
Novozymes’ collaboration with the Danish Fashion Institute started with the "I do 30" campaign, followed by the 2009 Fashion Summit.
Together these events focus on educating the industry and making knowledge of sustainability and enzymes accessible to fashion companies. Taking the collaboration forward, Novozymes and the Institute will together be a part of the upcoming Copenhagen Fashion Summit.
The Fashion Summit will see the launch of a collaboration between the United Nations and the Nordic Initiative Clean and Ethical (NICE) to develop the first fashion sector-specific sustainability initiative under the UN’s Global Compact.
The initiative includes a strong coalition between the fashion industry and the UN represented by the network organization Danish Fashion Institute and its Nordic partners. The UN will make it possible for the organizations to move toward a more sustainable future.

“Our biggest ambition for NICE is to establish a movement that can get companies started with sustainability. We can't force companies to do so, but we can inspire and motivate them through existing solutions and new technologies – and our collaboration with Novozymes can really boost this effort,” says Eva Kruse, CEO of the Danish Fashion Institute. 

On Friday February 3, Novozymes will participate in a press conference held by the Danish Fashion Institute.