For decades after polyester’s invention in the 1940s, there wasn’t much exciting innovation in the fibres used in the world’s textiles. Until now. With the increased urgency about humanity’s impact on the planet, the race is on to find solutions to reduce the environmental impact of clothing. That’s why fabrics will soon be made of pineapple and banana, and silk and leathers will be grown in a laboratory. The fashion industry is commonly accused of being the second-biggest polluter of the planet, second only to the oil industry. According to the documentary The True Cost, humans consume 80-billion pieces of clothing annually. With the advent of fast fashion — the quick delivery of new clothing trends to retail outlets — the production of clothes has doubled in the past 15 years, and will continue to grow rapidly if business-as-usual continues. This means continued growth in the production of polyester. The world’s most commonly used textile is a plastic-based synthetic fibre made fr...

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