In February 2017, the Centre Party presented a report with six proposals for more sustainable textiles and the visit to Smart Textiles was part of the ongoing work in this area. Kristina was joined by Linn Norrbäck, political expert on environmental and food issues, as well as Roland Karlsson municipal commissioner in Ulricehamn, both from the Centre Party.
Nils-Krister Persson, research leader and responsible for the Technology Lab at Smart Textiles, hosted the visit and presented Smart Textile’s organisation as well as informed about ongoing research and development in the field of smart textiles. In the Showroom, the visit was given real examples of what different Smart Textiles projects have generated so far in terms of prototypes and products. Sustainable Textiles is one of Smart Textile’s three focus areas, and Kristina Yngwe showed extra interest in the parts of the exhibition that describe how Swedish forests can be utilized even more as raw material in the textile industry of the future. Susanne Nejderås, Managing Director at Smart Textiles, gave her view on sustainability and the importance of looking at the entire production chain when discussing sustainability. The use of natural materials is one part, but the process of cultivating and refining can have an equally significant impact.
After a guided tour around Textile Fashion Centers’ premises and The Swedish School of Textiles’ creative environment, among busy students and ongoing projects, there was also time for a discussion about sustainable development and future solutions. Kristina Yngwe took the opportunity to ask what policy makers can do to facilitate the development towards a more sustainable textile industry, in connection to Smart Textiles. The response from Smart Textiles was a request that politicans ake into account the time it takes to create change, that it requires long-term efforts rather than short-term projects with demand on fast results. Smart Textiles representatives also emphasized the importance of the fact that there is no optimal solution to the resource and environmental problems of the textile industry, but instead there is a need for many different solutions that complement each other in order to create a sustainable industry.
– I feel excited! You play an important part in the development of the future sustainable society, Kristina says with a smile before expressing her thanks and rushing off to catch a train.
Text & photo: Malin Carlsson