GLOBAL SUSTAINABILITY CERTIFICATION
WHY DO TEXTILES NEED RELEVANT CERTIFICATION
Destruction of rainforests by fashion industry / Soil degradation caused by fashion industry / Water consumption in fashion industry / Water pollution in fashion industry / Greenhouse gas emissions in fashion industry
Chemicals in fashion products are used in every step of textile production, for making fibers, bleaching and dyeing fabrics, etc... When they arrive in stores, our clothes still contain a lot of chemicals, even when made from "100% natural" Clothes made of fibers. Our skin is our body's largest organ and absorbs anything we put on it, including chemicals in our clothes. These can pose a real threat to our health.
What harm do they do?
A study by Greenpeace's campaign" found that eleven chemicals often used to make our clothes contain toxins, carcinogens and hormone disruptors that should be banned, but aren't.
A study found that certain chemicals were found in pajamas after children wore pajamas for five days.
A recent study found that 63 percent of items tested by 20 different textile brands, including fashion giants, contained harmful chemicals.
What can we do?
1. New clothes must be washed before the first use. Look for clothing that has a chemically certified label, such as: OEKO-TEX, GOTS, BLUESIGN.
Child labor in the fashion industry
168 million children are forced to work in factories. Child labor is particularly prevalent in the fashion industry as it requires low-skilled labor.
In South India, for example, 120,000 girls work under the Sumangali scheme, a practice of sending young girls from poor families to work in textile factories for three to five years in exchange for a basic salary and a final payment of a money as a dowry. The girls were overworked and lived in poor conditions that could be classified as modern slavery.
Forced labor in the fashion industry
There are also many cases of forced labor in the fashion industry's supply chain. The most notorious example was until recently in Uzbekistan, one of the world's largest cotton exporters. Every fall, the government forces more than a million people to leave their regular jobs to pick cotton. Children were also mobilized to leave school to harvest cotton. Uzbekistan successfully accelerated the fight against child and forced labor in 2020 and has now all but eliminated this phenomenon.
Garment workers are often forced to work 14 to 16 hours a day, seven days a week. During peak season, they may work until 2 or 3 am to meet the fashion brand's deadline.
Other meaningful initiatives
Fashion Revolution / Who Made My Clothes?
The Fashion Revolution is a global movement whose mission is to unite people and organizations working together to fundamentally change the way we source, produce and consume our clothing so that our clothing is produced in a safe, clean and fair way. They believe that the entire chain of survival, from farmer to consumer, is the only way to change the industry.
They organized Fashion Revolution Week: #whomademyyclothes in April, which coincided with the anniversary of the RanaPlaza. factory closure. This week, brands and producers are encouraged to respond with the hashtag #imadeyourclothes and demonstrate transparency in their supply chains
Why Use Eco-Friendly Fabrics?
1. The fashion industry has long been criticized for its adverse impact on the environment and has been hailed as the world's most polluting one of the industries.
2. 208 million pounds of waste was generated in 2019 just by purchasing and then destroying or disposing of single-use clothing.
3. People's appetite for sustainable and ethical ways is now steadily rising.
4. According to the statistics of fashion search engine Lysⅸ, the search volume including keywords related to sustainable development increased by 75% year-on-year, records an average of 27.000 sustainable fashion searches per month.
5. Advantages: It can divert waste from landfills, and its production uses far fewer resources than virgin nylon (including water energy and fossil fuels).
BAMBOO FIBER FABRIC
Bamboo fiber is produced by patented technology, using bamboo as raw material, through a special high-tech process, the cellulose in bamboo is extracted. It is the regenerated cellulose fiber produced by the process of making glue, spinning and so on.
Water saving - did you know that bamboo consumes only one-third of the water that cotton does when it grows? Although producing one kilogram of cotton can take as much as
20,000 liters of water, but bamboo is much more environmentally friendly.
Renewable - Bamboo grows three feet a day! This makes it a highly sustainable and renewable option for your fabrics.
Biodegradable - One of the main advantages of bamboo fiber is that it is biodegradable, making it a very eco-friendly option for your clothing.
Antibacterial - Our bamboo fiber of choice is made from Tanboocel, an antibacterial fiber that will help you no matter how many times you wash itto repel bacteria. It's all thanks to Bamboo Kun, a natural antibacterial ingredient in the bamboo plant that makes the fiber resistant to bacteria and fungigrowth. Smells better and leaves you cleaner. This is the dream.
Pesticide Free - Thanks to Bamboo Kun, an antimicrobial bio-agent naturally produced by grasses, bamboo typically requires zero pesticides to stay healthy. compared to Underneath, 2.4% of the world's arable land is grown with cotton -- but cotton accounts for as much as 24% of the world's pesticide market.
Moisture Wicking - Bamboo is 40% more absorbent and breathable than cotton, wicking away sweat from your body, keeping you dry longer Cool. This thermoregulation will keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter, so it's the best of both worlds.
What is lyocell made of?
Lyocell is a man-made fiber, made from cellulose, derived from wood pulp. The type of tree used in the process is eucalyptus, but trees such as oak, birch or bamboo can also be transformed. Lyocell is a sustainable alternative to viscose. How does it become fabric? After harvesting, the wood is broken down into pieces, which are then converted into pulp. Organic solvents are used to dissolve pulp without chemical modification. The mixture is then forced through a spinneret, turning it into long, thin fibers. In a process developed by Lenzing, the main producer of lyocell, 99% of the solvent is recovered in a closed loop and returned to the production process. What is the difference between Lyocell, Tencel and Modal?
All of these names can be confusing. Lyocell and Tencel are the same thing, Tencel is just the brand name for the Lyocell process. Modal is actually very similar to lyocell, both derived from cellulose, but the difference lies in the conversion process of modal. They are both very soft, but modal is more delicate to the touch and is usually made into a thinner and lighter fabric.
What are the characteristics of Lyocell?
Lyocell absorbs moisture better than cotton and has better breathability. It is soft and comfortable, similar to silk. Lyocell fiber is a very durable and elastic fiber. Beneficial for sensitive skin as it is hypoallergenic, antibacterial and odor neutral. It dries quickly and does not require ironing.
What about the sustainable aspects of these fabrics?
The forests from which the trees come are grown exclusively for Tencel production and are sustainably managed and certified. These trees are not suitable for food production
The land grows rapidly. Plus, they don't require irrigation or pesticides to grow. Production is a closed loop, which means that large amounts of solvent and water are recovered and used again. Tencel fibers are also biodegradable. The solvents used in this process are non-toxic. Lyocell production is fast, taking just a few hours. Of course, energy is required, which is a negative part of lyocell production. Lenzing is working to reduce energy consumption as much as possible. They are developing a bioenergy that generates heat by burning "leftover" wood. However, many factories still use mainly fossil fuels. Trees do not require irrigation to grow. However, cooling water is used in the process. This water is returned to nature without chemical modification,
Or be recycled. In addition, according to Lenzing, the Lyocell technology requires only one-third of the water used in the viscose manufacturing process.
Is Tencel more sustainable than cotton?
More sustainable than non-organic cotton? of course ! The reasons are as follows:
Tencel yield is 10 times higher than cotton yield of the same area. About 2000 square meters of eucalyptus can produce 1 ton of lyocell fiber, and to produce 1 ton of cotton, we need about 10,240 square meters of cotton crop. Apparently, 6 square meters of eucalyptus can produce 10 t-shirts, while 6 square meters of cotton can only produce 1 t-shirt. Tencel uses far less water than cotton, which requires irrigation. While non-organic cotton consumes a lot of toxic pesticides, lyocell comes from forests free of any chemicals and transformed with natural solvents. Tencel is more expensive than cotton, but I believe investing in Tencel instead of non-organic cotton is worth it.