The Global Biodegradable Fabrics Market size is expected to reach US$ 13.44 billion by 2030, from US$ 5.86 billion in 2023, at a CAGR of 12.6% during the forecast period. Biodegradable fabrics are made from natural materials such as hemp, linen, cotton, jute, and silk or synthetic polymers such as polylactic acid (PLA) and polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) that can decompose in the environment. These fabrics are increasingly being adopted in the textile industry to manufacture clothing, furnishing, carpets, medical products, and packaging solutions that have a lower environmental impact. The key drivers of the biodegradable fabrics market include growing environmental concerns, supportive government policies promoting sustainability, increasing consumer awareness, and rapid advancements in material technology.
The market is segmented by product type, application, end-use industry, and region. By product type, the market is categorized into polyester, polylactic acid, cellulose, natural fiber, and others. Cellulose-based fabrics account for the largest share as they are derived from sustainable sources and offer excellent biodegradation properties.
Global Biodegradable Fabrics Market Regional Insights:
- North America is expected to be the largest market for biodegradable fabrics during the forecast period, accounting for over 38.5% of the market share in 2022. The growth of the market in North America is attributed to stringent government regulations, increased research funding, and high adoption of sustainable textiles.
- The Europe market is expected to be the second-largest market for biodegradable fabrics, accounting for over 28.7% of the market share in 2022. The growth of the market in Europe is attributed to rising consumer preference for eco-friendly products and a well-established fashion industry.
- The Asia Pacific market is expected to be the fastest-growing market for biodegradable fabrics, with a CAGR of over 15.2% during the forecast period. The growth of the market in Asia Pacific is attributed to growing industrialization, large textile manufacturing base, and increased spending on green alternatives.
Figure 1. Global Biodegradable Fabrics Market Share (%), by Region, 2023
Global Biodegradable Fabrics Market Drivers:
- Increasing Adoption of Sustainable Materials in Fashion Industry: The growing inclination towards sustainability in the fashion and textile industry is a key factor driving the growth of biodegradable fabrics. Leading apparel and footwear brands are adopting eco-friendly materials such as PLA, lyocell, hemp, and organic cotton to reduce their carbon footprint and meet environmental standards. For instance, Adidas partnered with Parley in 2015 to manufacture shoes using plastic waste collected from beaches. Several other brands like H&M, Nike, and Levis have pledged to increase their use of sustainable materials. The rising consumer demand for ethically sourced and eco-friendly fashion products is propelling the adoption of biodegradable fabrics.
- Favorable Government Policies Promoting Sustainable Textiles: Governments across the world are introducing policies and initiatives to promote the production and use of biodegradable and compostable textiles. For instance, the European Commission adopted the EU Strategy for Sustainable Textiles in 2022 to transform textile value chains into sustainable cycles. Such regulations that mandate eco-labeling, recycled content use, and single-use plastic bans are driving biopolymer research and use of green fabrics. Additionally, various grants and funds to support the biodegradable fabric manufacturers boost production capacities and market growth.
- Advancements in Fabric Production Technologies: Ongoing R&D in bioplastics and green chemistry have enabled efficient large-scale production of biodegradable fabrics in recent years. Novel techniques like enzymatic polymerization and bacterial fermentation allow the use of bio-based feedstock for generating biodegradable materials such as PLA at high yields. Advances in spinning technologies and blending methods have improved the performance and feel of fabrics made from lyocell, organic cotton, algae, etc. The innovations in manufacturing processes help reduce the cost of biodegradable fabrics, supporting its wider adoption.
- High Demand from Healthcare and Hygiene Applications: The healthcare industry is one of the major end-use segments driving the biodegradable fabrics demand. These fabrics are increasingly used in medical products like hospital gowns, surgical drapes, sanitary napkins, diapers, etc. owing to their non-toxic, anti-bacterial, and compostable properties. With the COVID-19 pandemic, the focus on health, safety, and sustainable healthcare solutions has grown significantly. This has spiked the consumption of eco-friendly single-use medical textiles made using biodegradable fibers.
Global Biodegradable Fabrics Market Opportunities:
- Scaling Up Production of Bio-based Fabrics: There lies tremendous scope for manufacturers to scale up production of fabrics based on innovative bio-based polymers such as PLA, PHA, and cellulose nanocrystals derived from agricultural waste biomass. With optimized biorefinery technologies, high-volume production can be achieved to meet the growing demand. Strategic partnerships with bioplastics producers and agri-tech startups can help develop scalable and cost-effective processes. Large-scale manufacturing will help make bio-based fabrics more price competitive.
- Developing Smart Biodegradable Textiles: Companies can focus on R&D to develop smart biodegradable fabrics by incorporating advanced technologies like nanotechnology, microencapsulation, and intelligent polymers. Fabrics with moisture management, antimicrobial, self-cleaning, conductive, and shape memory properties have promising applications in sportswear, protective clothing, soft robotics, and biomedical areas. The integration of green chemistry and smart textiles will create new product segments.
- Expanding Applications in Automotive Industry: The automotive industry is moving towards sustainability and can be a potential end-use segment for biodegradable fabrics. These fabrics can be used to produce seat covers, door panels, roof & trunk liners, etc. Biocomposite nonwoven felts are suitable for interior parts. Flax and other natural fibers also have applications in automotive plastic composites. Market players can work with OEMs to develop bio-based components for vehicles.
- Increasing Use in Civil Engineering: There are growing opportunities to use biodegradable fabrics for applications like slope stabilization and soil erosion control in civil engineering projects. Jute, coir, and natural herbs can be used to produce effective geotextiles. Market players should focus on producing reinforced soil blocks using jute fibers as substitutes for synthetics in construction. Collaborations with engineering firms can help drive adoption in infra projects.
Global Biodegradable Fabrics Market Report Coverage
||Market Size in 2023:
||US$ 5.86 Bn
|Historical Data for:
||2018 to 2021
||2023 - 2030
|Forecast Period 2023 to 2030 CAGR:
||2030 Value Projection:
||US$ 13.44 Bn
- North America: U.S. and Canada
- Latin America: Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and Rest of Latin America
- Europe: Germany, U.K., Spain, France, Italy, Russia, and Rest of Europe
- Asia Pacific: China, India, Japan, Australia, South Korea, ASEAN, and Rest of Asia Pacific
- Middle East & Africa: GCC Countries, Israel, South Africa, North Africa, and Central Africa and Rest of Middle East
- By Product Type: Polyester, Polylactic Acid (PLA), Cellulose, Natural Fiber, Others (Polyhydroxyalkanoates, etc.)
- By Application: Textile, Furniture, Carpets, Others (packaging, agriculture, etc.)
- By End Use Industry: Fashion, Medical, Sportswear, Agriculture, Civil Engineering, Others (packaging, automotive, etc.)
Ecologic Fiber, Enka Textile, Hemp Inc, David C. Poole, Eco Textile, Propex, Greenfibres, EnviroTextiles, Vestagen Protective Technologies, W.L. Gore & Associates, Taiwan Singtex Industrial Company, Tengri, Bcomp, Flexform Technologies, Aquafi, Eucarpe, Toad&Co, Amadou Naturals, Back Beat Co., SynZenta
- Increasing adoption of sustainable materials in fashion industry
- Favorable government policies promoting sustainable textiles
- Advancements in fabric production technologies
- High demand from healthcare and hygiene applications
|Restraints & Challenges:
- High costs compared to conventional fabrics
- Performance limitations in some applications
- Lack of standardization in testing
Global Biodegradable Fabrics Market Trends:
- Shift Towards Circular Textiles: Leading fashion brands and manufacturers are increasingly adopting the circular economy approach by designing recyclable and biodegradable textiles. This is enabled by innovations like mixed fiber fabrics which allow separation of natural and synthetic fibers for reusing. Companies are also providing fabric take-back programs and incentives to consumers for trading old clothes to produce new fabrics. Such initiatives are driving circularity in the textile value chain and boosting biodegradable fabrics demand.
- Increasing Consumer Spending on Sustainable Fashion: With rising environmental consciousness, consumers are willing to pay a premium for eco-friendly and ethically sourced clothing made using organic, biodegradable fabrics. This is evident from the success of sustainable fashion brands like Everlane, Reformation, and Patagonia. Social media and influencers also drive awareness of new green materials like Pinatex, Orange Fiber, etc., encouraging adoption. This trend promises massive growth potential for biodegradable fabrics.
- Advances in Biofabrication and Biodesign: Developments in biofabrication using 3D printing, lab-grown design, and biodesign are disrupting the textiles space. Researchers are engineering biological tissues to grow materials with unique properties. For instance, bolt threads is developing engineered spider silk based on spider DNA. Innovative startups like Modern Meadow are printing biofabricated leather and collagen fabrics derived from yeast fermentation. Such advances are creating new opportunities for next-gen biodegradable and sustainable fabrics.
- Transition Towards Bio-based Feedstock: Conventional raw materials like crude oil are being substituted by bio-based and recycled feedstock for manufacturing biodegradable fabrics. For instance, agricultural wastes like bagasse and pineapple leaves are used to produce PLA and Piñatex respectively. Recycled nylon and PET are also increasingly used as feedstock. Various industry collaborations are taking place to develop new bio-based materials, indicating a clear transition. This is making the fabrics more sustainable.
Global Biodegradable Fabrics Market Restraints:
- High Costs Compared to Conventional Fabrics: Despite increasing adoption, biodegradable fabrics are still costlier than synthetic fabrics like polyester. The complex extraction processes for bio-based polymers and limited economies of scale result in high costs. For instance, PLA is nearly 40-50% costlier than polyester currently. This deters wider adoption across mid and low price segments. Players need to develop low-cost innovative production methods through R&D investments to make these fabrics more affordable.
- Performance Limitations in Some Applications: While biodegradable fabrics match conventional fabrics in comfort and feel, some limitations exist in mechanical performance and durability for certain application areas. For instance, natural fiber fabrics have lower elasticity and abrasion resistance compared to synthetics. Such factors may restrict uptake in performance apparel segments like sportswear where stretchability, resilience and strength are critical. Producers need to enhance the properties of biobased fabrics to compete across all application areas.
- Lack of Standardization in Testing: The absence of universally accepted standards and specifications for testing the biodegradation of fabrics poses a major challenge. While certification schemes like the Seedling Label by Oeko-Tex Association exist, the testing methods and pass criteria vary across regions. The lack of standardized biodegradability tests and labels creates confusion among consumers and can hamper adoption. Industry-wide efforts are needed to harmonize the standards.
New product launches:
- In January 2022, Lenzing AG announced the launch of its Refibra branded lyocell fibers made from cotton scraps and wood pulp. This helps promote circularity in the textile industry.
- In June 2021, Aquafil launched the ECONYL nylon fabric made from regenerated nylon waste. It provides sustainability benefits for fashion brands.
- In April 2020, Bcomp launched ampliTex, a 100% biocomposite natural fiber fabric designed for high-performance sportswear applications.
Acquisition and partnerships:
- In October 2022, Forme Textiles partnered with NatureWorks to expand its PLA-based fabric collections and increase sustainability.
- In August 2021, Natural Fiber Welding partnered with footwear brand Allbirds to develop plant-based biodegradable uppers.
- In January 2020, Sateri acquired viscose business from Xinjiang Zhongtai to expand production capacity of its lyocell fabrics made from recycled materials.
Figure 2. Global Biodegradable Fabrics Market Share (%), by Application, 2023
Top companies in Global Biodegradable Fabrics Market:
- Ecologic Fiber
- Enka Textile
- Hemp Inc
- David C. Poole
- Eco Textile
- Vestagen Protective Technologies
- L. Gore & Associates
- Taiwan Singtex Industrial Company
- Flexform Technologies
- Amadou Naturals
- Back Beat Co.
*Definition: The Global Biodegradable Fabrics Market refers to the market for textiles and fabric materials that can decompose naturally in the environment without causing harm. It includes products made from renewable natural fibers such as cotton, hemp, and linen as well as innovative bioplastics like PLA and PHA which are derived from biological sources like corn starch. The biodegradable fabric market is driven by sustainability trends in the textile industry and provides an eco-friendly alternative to traditional petroleum-based synthetics. These fabrics have various applications across clothing, furniture, automotive, agriculture, civil engineering, and medical sectors. The biodegradation process allows the fabrics to completely breakdown into natural elements like water, carbon dioxide, and biomass at the end of their lifecycle.
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