The textile industry is one of the most polluting industries in the world, consuming large amounts of energy and water to produce our clothes. Dyeing textiles is the second largest cause of water contamination, only surpassed by agriculture.

Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary of Denmark is a staunch advocate of sustainable fashion and is a Patron of Global Fashion Agenda. The visit to Novozymes was scheduled ahead of the Copenhagen Fashion Summit, which takes place in May.

Alongside Eva Kruse, CEO of Global Fashion Agenda, Peder Holk Nielsen, President & CEO of Novozymes, hosted a tour of Novozymes’ DemoLab. Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary had the opportunity to experience how enzymes are used in clothes’ production, resulting in the use of less energy, fewer chemicals and less water. These savings from enzymes impact many different stages of the textile production chain.

“In Novozymes, we have made the UN SDGs a part of our strategy because our business is about turning science into sustainable biological solutions,” said Peder Holk Nielsen.

“In the textile industry, we work with partners to bring sustainability into fashion. Biotechnology can reduce the environmental footprint of production and extend the lifetime of garments. Together with fashion brands, we can give consumers the choice of better and more sustainable garments.”

In 2018, Novozymes’ customers saved an estimated 88 million tons of CO2 emissions by applying Novozymes’ products. The savings achieved are equivalent to taking approximately 37 million cars off the road.

 

Biological solutions in textile and fashion 
Here are some figures, based on Novozymes’ Life Cycle Assessments (validated by 3rd parties), showing the impact of Novozymes’ biological solutions used in the textile industry. Number per year is based on assumed production of 5,000 tons of textiles per year (average for a medium textile mill and laundry). An average European consumes approximately 60 m3 of fresh water for the household per year and an average passenger car emits around 2.4 tons of CO2 per year.

Water – the need for clean water is reduced by 14 million m3, equivalent to the amount of water used by 230,000 households per year.

Energy – by use of enzymes, textile mills can use less energy, reducing their CO2 emissions by 27,000 tons. That is the equivalent of removing 12,000 cars from the roads per year.

Chemicals – the need for chemicals is reduced by approx. 3,800 tons per year.