Sustainable development & textile chain

It’s not a big secret that fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries in the world, with the denim segment highlighted as one of the worst offenders. The production of a single pair of jeans demands up to 10,000 liters of water, as well as dyes, chemicals, and pesticides which pollute the water and environment.

little resumé of sustainable development

Sustainable development, according to its proper definition given by the United Nation’s World Commission on Environment and Development, is a development that responds to present needs without compromising the needs of futures generations. This involves the research of a balance between these three pillars :

  • Economy
  • Social
  • Environment

The textile chain: a complex and globalized industry

With suppliers around the world and many manufacturing phases, the textile industry is, with no doubts, the most internationalized. It goes from agriculture to industry, employs a lot of unskilled labor in competing territories, and therefore this industry has many environmental and social impacts.

In a context of globalization of exchanges and Fast Fashion, the race of cheapest product and new collections often leads to a deterioration of the social and environmental conditions of production, and excessive consumption (working conditions, wages, toxicity of products for employees and consumers…) The responsible company, which manufactures and markets its products in a research of global quality might be forced to follow this trend of lower quality to maintain its market share, while big brands launch new collections every 2 weeks. Shops open seven days a week in London and 24/7 in Dubai. A frenetic race, that push big brands to constantly seeking for more production.

5 SUSTAINABLE FASHION BRANDS

 

ADIDAS MADE SHOES WITH RECYCLED OCEAN PLASTIC, AND IT’S A SUCCESS

In order to solve the problem of plastic waste that winds up in our oceans, polluting the water and killing animals, Adidas is step-by-step building a more sustainable (and mutually beneficial) business plan, The successful brand paired up with Parley for the Oceans to repurpose the millions of pounds of plastic currently polluting the world’s oceans and taking its way back to us through the food we eat. So, instead of remaining waste, Adidas has found a smart way to use recycling to their (and the planet’s) benefit. 

If deciding not to use straws anymore has a huge impact on the environment, consider the impact a global brand like Adidas could have. We’ve all heard of the horrifying “Great Pacific garbage patch” which is essentially an enormous swath of ocean coated in pelagic plastics, chemical sludge, and and other debris caught there by the North Pacific Gyre’s currents. And most people will find it surprising that a 2015 study estimated that around eight million metric tons of our plastic waste enters the oceans from land every year.

By 2020, Adidas wants all of their shoes to be made using recycled plastic, which is good for the health of the planet, but it’s good to know that their first foray into sustainability has been a success. Indeed, one year later the brand has sold 1 million of their shoes. Nice, isn’t it ?

 

H&M CONSCIOUS EXCLUSIVE 2018 BRINGS TOGETHER POWERFUL FEMININITY AND SUSTAINABLE FASHION INNOVATION WITH RECYCLED SILVER AND ECONYL®

By combining the latest in sustainable fabric innovation with designs inspired by the creative home of the Swedish artists Karin and Carl Larsson, the 2018 H&M Conscious Exclusive collection is a thoroughly modern expression of beautiful craft and powerful femininity. For the first time two new sustainable materials, recycled silver and ECONYL®, a 100% regenerated nylon fibre from fishnets and other nylon waste, are introduced to the collection. Launched 1 week ago the Conscious Exclusive 2018 collection is now available in selected stores worldwide and online at hm.com.

“It is a great thrill to introduce two new sustainable materials into the collection. By creating gorgeous lace made of ECONYL® and beautiful jewellery crafted from recycled silver, we continue to stretch the boundaries of sustainable fashion. Also, the work of Karin Larsson in particular took on a lot of significance, her stylised motifs, bold compositions and use of colour throughout the house were ahead of its time. She was such a strong woman and it’s that spirit that we channelled.” Ann-Sofie Johansson, creative advisor at H&M.

 

PEOPLE TREE, THE FAIR TRADE FASHION PIONEER AND ONLINE GARNMENT RETAILER.

People Tree, based in London and Tokyo, has put an emphasis on fair trade practices since it started out 25 years ago. It supports producers in the developing world across its processes and is a member of the World Fair Trade Organisation. Clothes are made from environmentally friendly fabrics like organic cotton and wood-pulp-derived Tencel. The vibe is relaxed pieces for every day with a fashion edge – it has done some high-profile collaborations over the years, including with Emma Watson. 

 

EVERLANE, ETHICAL PRODUCTION PROCESS, RADICAL TRANSPARENCY
Founded by Michael Preysman in 2011, Everlane is all about transparency, the fashion manufacturer aims yo offer consumers high-quality garments, made in an ethical and responsible way for a fair price. They spend months finding the best factories around the world—the very same ones that produce our favorite designer labels, and then they build strong personal relationships with factory owners to ensure their factory’s integrity and to maintain ethical production practices at every step of the process. They believe customers have the right to know what their products cost to make and where they were made. They reveal their true costs and share the factory and production stories behind each piece of clothing. Their minimal, modern aesthetic makes them a personal favorite!
“We wanted to make denim from the beginning,” Preysman said to Fast Company. “Now, we can find the right partner, and this partner is also interested in us. You’re going to see a lot more of this as we scale.” In order to ensure the denim collection reflects the brand’s values, the Everlane design team created a pair of classic pair of jeans which are both timeless and durable. In addition, the jeans are made from a heavier denim, designed to hold its shape but with enough stretch to be comfortable, meaning consumers will not have to wash them as frequently.
PATAGONIA, PIONEER ON TRANSPARENCY 
One of the world’s most famous and respected outdoor brands, Patagonia put in a lot of work to show their love of the natural world is about more than rain jackets and fleeces – and it wasn’t always that way. They openly admit that they haven’t gotten everything right in the past, and they’re now working hard to try and put that right, making sure their product is safely and ethically produced, revising their entire supply chain to reduce the environmental impact of their production, and providing their workers with health insurance, paid maternity and paternity leave and subsidized childcare. They’re even trying to discourage their customers from buying more product by offering to restore Patagonia product to good as new with their Worn Wear program. Sometimes it’s nice not to be sold anything.
Furthermore, they launched a digital platform to connect customers with grassroots activism. The aim of this platform, Patagonia Action Works, is to encourage Patagonia customers to learn more about local environnemental issues and get involved with events, petitions, and volunteering in their area.

 

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