February 28, 2014
Fabrics and fibres, from farming, manufacturing of synthetics, dyes, treatments, to washing and waste.
1. The textile industry produces 60 billion kg of fabric globally.
2. In the production of the fibres, 132 million
metric tons of coal is burned every year.
3. 6 / 9 trillion litres of water usage.
4. Over 2000 chemicals are used.
5. India produces and supplies around half of the global market with Organic Cotton, and yet it is not flawless, with cross
contamination constantly occurring from GM cotton, where retailers who claim their cotton is organic are not monitoring their suppliers..... example H&M in 2010.
6. The USA textiles industry are the 5th largest contributor of Co2 emissions.
That is one massive Carbon Footprint folks !!
What's the answer ?
Well there are 2 organisations already tackling the cotton industry, Organic Cotton . org and the World Fairtrade Organisation. Organic Cotton
tackle the farming and enviromental issues while FairTrade focus on the socio economic side of things like child labour, health and well being of Farmers and working/ living conditions.
Consumers can also do their bit by ensuring they check
where the cotton in the garment has been sourced, only buy Fair trade and Organic cotton. Shop around, Companies like Patagonia, Howies and Rapanui all use Organic Cotton.
Synthetics cause substantial
eco damage, like Petro chemicals such as Nylon and Polyester and chemicaly treated Rayon. Large amounts of toxic chemicals are used to create synthetics, the emissions into the atmosphere are chokingly damaging, along with residues being washed out into rivers,
many a watering hole for locals and animals, poisons that kill off fish stocks.
Recycling these synthetic polluters is one way to cut down on the damage, and use of natural fibres like hemp and Flax also known as Linen, Bamboo ( which is similar to
viscose), a company called OecoTextiles use these alternatives, filter chemicals out of the water and use Bees wax, Aloe Vera and Vitamin C in their finishing techniques.
3 cheers ! Hip Hip Hooray ! Wool has made a big comeback!
The British Wool Board has a campaign for Wool, why ? because it is one of the most sustainable fibres known to man. Natural and resillient, it can absorb dyes without the use of chemicals, adaptable to both cool or warm climates,
outlast any synthetic sweaters as wool is naturally elastic, it doesnt bag, sag or wrinkle, flame resistant, a complete enviromentally friendly fibre, and yet Fast Fashion use only a small % of it in sweaters, between 5% to 30% with acrylic and polyesters
being the main body of knitwear and yet it has so much potential.
Price can be a deciding factor in the use of wool as different breeds of sheep and different types of wool can hike up prices, like the luxurious Cashmere where a sweater can cost anything
up from £50 to buy.
But... the cost of pure woollen garments could be cut if the cost of water usage say was reduced or the use of chemicals for example. It is something that could be looked into if only to reduce the carbon footprint other fabric
sources have on the planet.
Interesting Fact: In New Zealand, a sustainable fabric has been made by mixing Wool with Jute that has been recycled from Starbucks coffee sacks. Starbucks plan to use the new
eco friendly material to upholster seats in their coffee houses around the world.
Other companies to follow are Carbon Neutral clothing and Ecotextile both striving to raise awareness, Ecotextile
have a calculator that can find the carbon footprint of a persons wardrobe
Amaze Balls !!!
( oecotextiles / brighthub.com / wearnothingnew.com / WWF / Ecouterre 25-01-15
/ Organic Cotton.org / erthtimes.org)