DORNBIRN – Sustainability and digitisation will be the key themes at the forthcoming Dornbirn-GFC fibres conference which takes place in Austria from September 11-13 and will feature presentations from over 100 speakers.
Among highlights, leaders from Indorama, Lenzing and Reliance, along with representatives from CIRFS and Euratex and the sports brand Lululemon, will discuss progress in establishing circular manufacturing chains for the fibre industry and how the European Commission is likely to accelerate its requirements in respect of current production methods.
Representatives from Microsoft and Palo Alto Networks will be among those addressing digital progress and there will be a special Startup Days event alongside the conference, organised by PricewaterhouseCoopers and designed to provide a networking platform for young companies looking to close the gap between good ideas and the market.
“The fibre industry has become a focal point for many stakeholders in the textiles and nonwovens industries,” says Robert van de Kerkhoff, president of the Austrian Fibers Institute. “Climate change and environmental pollution are the main reasons for calls to action along the entire value chain – from sourcing of the raw materials for the fibres to production of technical fabrics and garments as well as hygienic, cosmetic and industrial applications and eventually final usage and disposal.
“For this reason, this year’s GFC offers many lectures and discussions about sustainability, the circular economy and digitisation. These topics are interlinked and require pioneers and role models. Better educated consumers demand responsible sourcing and production. The circular economy is one of the solutions to avoid the negative consequences of our daily actions on the environment. Digital technologies such as block chain can contribute to transparency along the entire value chain. These trends are becoming important decision criteria for a growing group of engineers and consumers. Only if our industry meets these challenges on a broad and global basis will we be able to maintain our social acceptance and continue the strong growth of recent years.”