27th Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference

Material and Chemical Innovations in Apparel and Footwear

Apparel and footwear products are often composed of complex mixtures of materials fibers, dyes, adhesives, films, coatings, foams, etc. Creating durable products that perform their needed function while also enabling an end-of-life solution compatible with a circular system is very challenging. The ubiquity of these products combined with the large global footprint of this industry makes it a compelling area to highlight opportunities for systems thinking and designing for sustainable end of life solutions. This session is intended to showcase new chemical technologies and strategies for reducing impact during the manufacture of textiles, apparel, and footwear, as well as new processes and new ways to design products with sustainability and end of life in mind.

This session will provide a forum for innovators in both industry and academia to come together and share ideas and challenges. Suggested topics to be addressed include (but are not limited to):

New Materials and Fibers

  • Novel fiber types, especially non-fossil or bio-derived, biodegradable, or recyclable at end of life
  • Strategies for addressing microfiber pollution (e.g. novel coatings, polymer additives, etc.)
  • Safer, more sustainable adhesives
  • Bio-based and/or recyclable foams

Greener Dyes and Finishes:

  • New dyes or dye processing technologies that can reduce water an energy use
  • Design of more sustainable dye molecules (e.g. bio-based or biodegradable dyes, dyes with reduced hazards profiles, etc.)
  • Strategies for removing dyes at end of life for recycling and reuse
  • More environmentally friendly functional finishes (e.g. non-fluorinated water repellents, bio-based wicking finishes, metal-free antimicrobial finishes, etc.)
  • Tools to assess chemical hazards or environmental impact


  • Mechanical and chemical recycling technologies for post-industrial and post-consumer textile, apparel, and footwear waste
  • Technologies/strategies for handling complex mixtures of materials to enable recycling
  • Material and chemical considerations to design consumer products for recycling at end of life


Dr. Laura Hoch, Patagonia Inc.
Dr. Luca Bonanomi, Patagonia Inc.

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