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Sustainability & Fashion

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Greenpeace Reveals 'Detox Catwalk' List Of The Most Eco-Friendly Fashion Brands. Greenpeace Reveals 'Detox Catwalk' List Of The Most Eco-Friendly Fashion Brands. Sustainability in the Fashion Industry - Supply Chains Effect on the Environment. As one of the biggest players in the global economy, the fashion industry has a responsibility to help protect the environment.

Sustainability in the Fashion Industry - Supply Chains Effect on the Environment

We’re commemorating this Earth Week by asking some tough questions about our impact on the planet and what we can do about it. We’ll also be profiling people and companies who are instigating change. We’re calling the series “,” and to kick things off, Maya Singer takes a look at the harsh realities of the fashion supply chain. I used to have nightmares about plastic. Back in 2008, I spent New Year’s Day immersed in The World Without Us, Alan Weisman’s thought experiment about what would happen to Earth if the human race was suddenly raptured off the face of it.

Wool aims to sharpen up its glamour image – archive, 12 Aug 1981. The British Wool Marketing Board has a slogan at once complacent and defensive.

Wool aims to sharpen up its glamour image – archive, 12 Aug 1981

Man it reiterates throughout its explanatory literature, cannot match it. And no synthetic fibre can rival wool’s list of virtues: it is hard-wearing; its texture pleases the touch, its lustre the eye; it sheds rain and it insulates the wearer from variations in temperature; it accepts dye readily so that all sorts of subtleties of shade are possible; and it comes, in Britain at least, in so many different strengths and qualities that it is extraordinarily versatile.

Wool’s decline after the last war had more to do with image than performance. The post-war world indulged itself in a passion for the synthetic, the “miraculous” fruits of mankind’s ingenuity. Synthetics were by-products of rich industries like petro-chemicals which not only understood image-building but could afford it.

There remains one problem, however. Waste is so last season: recycling clothes in the fashion industry. So, which textiles can be recycled and how?

Waste is so last season: recycling clothes in the fashion industry

“The key differentiation is between ‘mechanical fibre recycling’, which will degrade with each recycling (down-cycling) and ‘chemical fibre recycling’ which in some cases can produce fibres of equal quality to virgin ones” explains senior research fellow, Textiles Environment Design, Kate Goldsworthy. Mechanical recycling of natural fibres like cotton and wool is currently the most scalable recycling technology for post-consumer textiles but the result is shorter textile fibres of a lower quality to virgin fibres, adds Carola Tembe, H&M’s environmental sustainability co-ordinator. To increase quality, recycled fibres must be blended with virgin fibres.

When it comes to chemical recycling, only polyester and certain nylons can currently be reprocessed. However, new technologies are being developed and cotton could be up next. What sort of by-products are created when textiles are recycled? Can a hashtag change the fashion industry? Now in its second year, Fashion Revolution Day (FRD) is a hashtag campaign designed to keep the most vulnerable in the fashion supply chain in the public eye.

Can a hashtag change the fashion industry?

Held on the anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh, participants are encouraged to take a selfie showing the label on their clothes and ask the designer or brand #whomademyclothes. It’s an important cause, but can a hashtag campaign really bring meaningful change to the fashion industry? Ruth Stokes, author of The Armchair Activist’s Handbook, says if a campaign is able to raise awareness and reach people otherwise not engaged, then it has provided something of value. The challenge is translating that increased awareness into real-world practical actions, whether that means changing individual behaviors or the laws made by politicians. Nike and Adidas show cautious support for eco-friendly dye technology. It has been a significant step forward for the textile sector.

Nike and Adidas show cautious support for eco-friendly dye technology

Up until now the effluent from dye houses that can often be seen in rivers flowing through the textile manufacturing areas of India, China and elsewhere is a result of unabsorbed dyes, chemicals and heavy salts that are used during the dyeing process. A number of companies, DyeCoo, ColorZen and AirDye have set out to address this pollution by designing waterless dye technology. The result is a reduction in wastewater, energy, chemicals and toxic discharge to such a degree that it could revolutionise the textile industry.

Major brands including Nike and Adidas have been integrating waterless dye technologies into their product lines, but costs and limitations have experts in the textile industry worried that the support will not last. “Right now there is very low uptake of use of these technologies,” says Andrew Filarowski, technical director at Society of Dyers and Colourists. ASOS Responds To Owen Smith Comments Warehouse Working Conditions. 11 August 2016 Katie Berrington ASOS has refuted concerns raised by MP Owen Smith about working conditions in a South Yorkshire warehouse operated by the British brand.

ASOS Responds To Owen Smith Comments Warehouse Working Conditions

"We were surprised to see these allegations from Owen given that it was the first we had heard from him and he's never been inside the warehouse," a spokesperson for ASOS told us this morning. "We work incredibly hard with XPO (the logistics company that manages the site) to create a positive, supportive, healthy working environment for the team in Barnsley. As we have now said on the record several times before - we don't do zero-hours contracts, people can take toilet and water breaks whenever they want, and we pay above minimum wage.

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