Our Expertise

The Alliance for European Flax-Linen & Hemp places innovation at the heart of its actions. This is why it has established origin traceability certifications and centres for scientific, economic, technical and CSR expertise to adapt to market expectations and regulations.

Flax-Linen and Hemp Alliance experts

The European Scientific Committee of the Alliance

To support the validation of the intrinsic properties of its fibres, the Alliance shares its expertise with members and partners by making scientific analysis and dependable, evidenced-based data available to them. Industry businesses can use these tools for decision-making and development.

In 2009, the Alliance established the European Scientific Committee, laying the foundation for a long-term R&D strategy for composite technical innovation. Fully committed to the composites sector and industry, the 10 international experts in materials research combine their expertise in flax and hemp fibres to bridge basic research and applied research as part of an Open Innovation approach. The Scientific Committee plays a key role in research, in connecting players in flax and hemp innovation, in the harmonisation and standardisation of methods and techniques, in holding dedicated training sessions (Technical days) and sharing information in reference publications.

European Scientific Committee members

Our network of experts

The Alliance also has a network of experts: for the upstream agricultural sectors, growing and scutching, it can rely on agronomic institutes in France, Belgium and the Netherlands. In order to make use of all co-products, it conducts studies with biomass and sustainable development experts. Finally, when it comes to textile innovations, it works with specialised laboratories, depending on the specific issues being examined. The entire network of experts and European strategic partners of the Alliance plays a key role by contributing to projects organised for the benefit of the industry.

arvalis logo
Inagro logo

Flax-Linen Economic Observatory

In the context of the industry’s global expansion, the Alliance founded an independent Economic Observatory to gather, develop and share information and analyses of a production market that straddles three continents through agriculture and spinning alone. The Observatory’s reliable and structured economic information and data are regularly provided to members and partners to continuously generate and deploy a selection of decision-making and development tools: global market overview, regulatory monitoring, consumption trends (Flax-Linen Barometer), analysis of weak signals and dedicated economic studies. 

IFM logo
Gherzi logo

Tech innovation, CSR and traceability: the core of the work of the Alliance

In keeping with its history, the Alliance continues to innovate by opening up new strategic fields to work at its scale and to have an impact on the sustainable and technical transition in fashion, lifestyle and biomaterials. The Alliance is committed to a process of continuous improvement in the traceability and measurement of the environmental footprint of its fibres, products and processes in order to provide brands with robust datasets to integrate into their CSR strategies. 

Bureau Veritas logo

4 main large-scale projects to realise this goal:

Using the PEF method to measure the environmental footprint of European Flax - February 2022

The flax industry is the first agro-industrial sector to measure its environmental impacts using the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF), the standard European methodology developed by the European Commission. This first Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) of scutched flax fibre provides a dataset of European Flax™ certified long fibre grown and processed in France, Belgium and the Netherlands to calculate the impact of products containing West European flax fibres using the 16 PEF criteria. The Alliance for European Flax-Linen & Hemp has participated in the various working groups of the European Commission to co-construct the methodology, to include flax in structuring actions, and make the specificities of the sector’s processes heard.

Flax process mapping, an impact measurement tool for brands - June 2022

The flax processes map is a reference on production and processing paths and itineraries that facilitates dialogue between brands and their flax value chain and allows them to identify the datasets necessary for measuring the impact of their products. Following the creation of the European Flax™ scutched flax fibre dataset, each step for processing European Flax™ long and short fibres will be the subject of a special environmental footprint dataset that will reflect the industry average in Europe. The deliverables of this joint effort are expected in late 2023 and will be made available in European databases in 2024.

The Linen Blockchain: digital traceability

By means of the traceability working group of the Fashion and Luxury Industry Strategic Committee, the Alliance for European Flax-Linen & Hemp launched a linen pilot in Europe to identify the complete traceability of two 100% linen fashion items: a blouse and a T-shirt. These two products are made by a value chain made up of 19 European businesses (France, Belgium, Italy, Netherlands). Through the TextileGenesis digital platform that covers the textile value chain and is based on a reference for certified fibres, the Flax-Linen Blockchain will help encourage the use of linen in collections while meeting the need for identifying the origin of raw materials and the production process.

Textile Genesis logo

A characterisation reference 

Optical imaging will soon complement the organoleptic method to create a reference for describing European Flax™ fibres. The goal of this innovation is to harmonise qualities, devise economic scenarios together with all links in the textile value chain, particularly spinners, and to strengthen the sovereignty of Western European premium fibres.

Learn more about Alliance