Everybody speaks about sustainability and the urgency to act along the textile value chain up to the individual user of textiles and fashion
Yarns and Fibers.com has taken up the opportunity to deliver weekly news, achievements, promises, acting and results in a comprehensive publication Sustainable Fashion.
TextileFuture has taken up sustainability very early some years ago, and many of the News and Newsletters show the newest trends and solutions. We now take the opportunity to browse for you through the first issue of Yarns and Fibers new publication, offering you the main conclusions.
The cost of fast Fashion
With 80 billion items being manufactured every year and growing, fashion industry is one of the top polluting industries in the world. We all have the responsibility to make the planet a better place to live for the future generations. This edit looks at status quo, what are the initiatives by brands and retailers and few actions which we could take as consumers and brands.
The problem is further accentuated by projected increase in per capita consumption of apparel in the coming years. The developing countries with thicker growing middle class will have significantly higher growth in consumption.
While the consumerism to stay relevant and own clothing continues, awareness of about the kind of natural resources fashion consumes can open new doorways to actions.
It is shocking to know how long it takes for what we throw in landfills to get decomposed. Shoes and Synthetics take many years to get decomposed. Think ten times before buying your next shoe and synthetic item.
This documentary by Economist (one of the most watched on fashion sustainability) on “the cost of fast fashion” brings alive the key challenges and some actions. Key take aways from the documentary include,
a) Consumers are wearing the clothes less often and disposing at unprecedented rate
b) Clothes recycling plants process the collections from recycle bins in some countries. The quality of clothes are coming down and they are mainly directed to Africa from developed markets.
c) This is the fastest growing category of waste in most parts of the world and significant amount going into landfills.
d) The key question is
“How can the fashion industry continue to grow when the environmental need is for people to buy fewer clothes?”
e) In the high end fashion market retailers like Rent the Runway are taking the ownership paradigm of fashion to a sharing economy. This does make sense as only 20% of the clothes bought are worn on a regular basis.
f) Brands like Patagonia are promoting anti consumerism and the need for consumers to buy less. Their famous ad of “Don’t Buy This Jacket” on Black Friday is a standing example of this. Their philosophy flies in the face of fast fashion “Buy Once, Buy Well and Mend Clothing”
Look Good with a clear Conscience
Apart from Patagonia mentioned above, this article “20 of most sustainable brands” by Harper’s Bazaar gives a good amount of ideas for any brand to look at. Few ideas that impressed us
a) Make more looks with less – “Easy 8” by Misha Nonoo, you can make 22 different looks with 8 pieces.
b) Sustainable Footwear – The Allbirds brand is serious about its sustainable ethos – its soles are made from sugarcane and its upper fabrics from either eucalyptus trees or naturally-made merino wool.
What can we do as consumers?
Buy less (rent where possible) and only what is needed from ethical brands, repair when broken and donate.
United Nations has come out with a Sustainable Development Goals 2030 (SDG 2030). Through sustainability initiatives in fashion we will contribute significantly to many of the goals. Key ones impacted will be 1,3,6,9,12,13 and 17.
One simple way as a consumer we can contribute is to give away (donate) as many pieces of clothing as we shop the moment new clothing enters our wardrobes. We can keep empty bags in the wardrobe ready to remind us as and when we add any clothing. This will ensure circularity in what we do.
Sometimes, simple principles can create huge impact. Two such principles are,
1. Prevention is better than Cure and
2. Open is better than closed.
Fashion industry today is a lot more closed and every brand owns their information and considers them their differentiation. If we take an open view to this and shared with a trust worthy source, the world will benefit a lot in making repeated mistakes across various partners in products, store locations etc. Fashion can a learn a lot from the airline industry.
This is what happened in the airline industry. Back in the 1930s, flying was really dangerous and passengers were scared away by the many accidents. Flight authorities across the world understood the potential of commercial passenger air traffic, but they also realised flying had to become safer before most people would dare to try it. In 1944 they all met in Chicago to agree on common rules and signed a contract, a common form for incident reports, which they agreed to share, so they could all learn from each others’ mistakes. Since then every commercial passenger plane crash has been investigated and reported; risk factors have been systematically identified; and improved safety procedures have been adopted, worldwide. The result of the collaboration can be seen in the airplane crash reduction since then as depicted below.
This Chicago convention is one of the most impressive human collaborations ever. It is amazing how well people can work together when they share the same fears.
From the fashion context, the analogy of deaths in air plane crash can be the products we make which do not meet the customer demand. This is a common problem across fashion brands globally.
A lot of sustainability initiatives by brands have been so far in the choice of raw materials, method of manufacturing or educating consumers. One statistic that will throw all of us out of balance is,
“50 % of fashion made in the world is not wanted by Consumers and sold at a discount”
This is an area related to planning the fashion demand. There is no other area that has so much leverage to make the planet sustainable. There are AI solutions available which are aimed at reducing the supply-demand gap to make the right product at the right time in right quantity and sell in the right location, with public data at internet scale adopting an “Open” way to solve fashion’s one of the biggest challenges.
We also see an opportunity for brands to share their data to a trusted source and make the world a better place like the airlines analogy. This is just a matter of time.
We call this ethical, sustainable planning for the fashion industry. A good combination of this, with relevant supply chain practices end-to-end with consumer education will make the planet a better place for the generations to come.
In order to tackle the throwaway fashion culture, brands and consumers must change their behaviours. Industry pioneers are proving that there are viable business opportunities of selling less. Others need to follow suit.
The True Cost of Fast Fashion- YouTube Video By The Economist Source: ET Retail.com
Two thirds of environmental impact takes place at the very beginning of the supply chain – at the raw material level
“I want you to act as you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if our house is on fire. Because it is.”
These words from Nobel Prize-nominated teen activist Greta Thunberg helped galvanize 1.4 million people to take to the streets earlier this month to participate in the global school strikes for climate action. And, while Thunberg’s message about the environment was alarming, the underlying assumption was that there’s real hope for addressing climate change.
When human beings have made such a mess of the planet, where does that hope arise from? For many experts, a groundbreaking way of thinking about agriculture — regenerative farming — offers one of the most concrete reasons for optimism.
“Agriculture really represents the best chance that we have of mitigating and ending the climate crisis,” said Patagonia CEO Rose Marcario at the National Retail Federation in January. “The science is saying that if we converted all industrialized agriculture to regenerative, organic practices, we could sequester all the world’s carbon.”
The promise that regenerative farming practices could literally reverse climate change is staggering, but there is data to back it — and pioneering companies like Patagonia, Kering and Prana are investing in it as a result. In fact, they’re so convinced of its potential for world-changing impact that it’s not hard to imagine regenerative farming becoming as buzzy in the future as the circular economy is now.
“This is something that could create and will create the future of sustainability,” claims Prana’s Sustainability Director Rachel Lincoln in a phone interview.
So what exactly is regenerative agriculture, and how is it going to deliver on the massive claims being made about it? Here, we break down everything you need to know.
What is regenerative farming?
While much conversation about the environment hinges on the idea of sustainability — that is, maintaining the planet’s current state and taking care not to degrade it — regenerative agriculture assumes that some things have already been so damaged that they need to be built back up before we can get by with merely sustaining them.
Regenerative agriculture applies that idea specifically to soil health. According to nonprofit Regeneration International, the term refers to “farming and grazing practices that… reverse climate change by rebuilding soil organic matter and restoring degraded soil biodiversity.”
The average person may think of soil as belonging in the same category as something non-living like a rock, but truly healthy soil is teeming with living microorganisms like fungi, bacteria and protozoa. Elizabeth Whitlow, executive director of the Regenerative Organic Alliance, compares these to probiotics in the human gut. Just as we need good bacteria to keep our digestive system running smoothly, the soil needs a community of microorganisms to help it grow healthy plants, sequester carbon and absorb water properly. While some kinds of farming destroy these microscopic life forms, regenerative farming helps build them back into the ecosystem.
Vice President of Social and Environmental Responsibility at Patagonia Cara Chacon thinks of regenerative agriculture as essentially starting with the foundation laid by organic farming and taking it to the next level. Ideally, she says in a phone interview, it should represent the “holy grail of agricultural responsibility,” encompassing best practices for farming that benefit soil, the plants and animals being farmed, the people doing the farming and those using the farmer’s end products.
How is it practised?
The practices involved in regenerative agriculture can be wide-ranging and partly depend on the kind of farm in question. According to Whitlow, they might include using compost, rather than synthetic fertilizer, planting windbreaks (rows of trees at the edge of a field that shelter it from wind, preventing soil erosion), avoiding synthetic pesticides, rotating crops (growing different kinds of crops on the same plot in different seasons to optimize nutrients in the soil), intercropping (growing two or more crops in the same space at the same time, like planting food crops between rows of cotton) and employing a no-till or low-till approach (planting seeds without digging up the ground).
These practices have a range of benefits, from slowing soil erosion to making plants more resilient to pests to making food crops more nutrient-dense. According to Kering’s Sustainability Programs Director Géraldine Vallejo, they also result in higher-quality fibers and leathers, which is a clear boon for luxury producers. Besides sequestering carbon, regeneratively-farmed land can help combat other side effects of climate change, like flooding, by making land more able to absorb water.
“There are areas where you can see a regenerative farm right alongside a conventional farm and the conventional farm has streams of muddy water coming off of it, and the regenerative farm is just absorbing it like a giant sponge,” explains Whitlow on the phone. “It’s said that it can absorb eight times more water.”
Who is it already doing it?
Regenerative farming has seen its most significant traction in the natural food space, but fashion brands are making serious inroads, too. In December, Kering announced a partnership with the Savory Institute, an NGO dedicated to the support of holistic land management and regenerative practices. The goal of the partnership is to help identify and develop a network of farms that Kering can use to source leather and fibers like cashmere, wool and cotton.
“Two thirds of environmental impact takes place at the very beginning of the supply chain at the raw material level,” explains Vallejo on the phone. “We knew that if we wanted to be efficient in reducing our environmental impact, we had to act on that.”
Savory’s global reach and scientific approach to data collection made it an appealing partner for Kering, which is looking to slash its environmental impact 40 percent by 2025 and needs concrete ways to monitor its progress.
Patagonia and Prana are two other labels that have skin in the regenerative farming game. Both are allies of the Regenerative Organic Alliance, the organization headed by Whitlow that is trying to create a Regenerative Organic Certification as a standard for what regenerative farming actually means (similar to the way that the USDA Organic certification regulates what can legally be described as “organic farming”). Patagonia’s Rose Marcario is also on ROA’s board, and her brand is currently working on two pilot projects in India to convert existing organic cotton farms into fully regenerative ones.
What are the challenges?
Although regenerative farming holds incredible promise for addressing environmental problems, obstacles remain. Achieving regenerative certification, once the certification is finalized, will present an additional cost for farmers, which may be prohibitive. And since it’s a multi-year process to convert a farm fully, it can be hard for farmers to invest if they don’t have a brand promising to pay a premium from the outset. Although Whitlow dreams of a fund that could subsidize the cost of certification (“all the great farmers have to pay to prove how great they are!” she laments), no such fund currently exists.
The potential co-opting and greenwashing of the term “regenerative agriculture” also represents a threat. The Regenerative Organic Certification was essentially conceived of to combat this outcome. Players like Dr. Bronner’s, Patagonia and Prana saw the growing buzz around regenerative farming and wanted to make sure it was a well-defined term so that no one could claim to be “regenerative” based on the fact that they were a low- till operation that also happens to use a ton of toxic herbicides, for example.
At the moment, the regenerative farming movement is new enough that its results — i.e. clothing derived from regeneratively farmed fibres — won’t be widely accessible to fashion customers for awhile. (Patagonia, for example, hopes to be able to incorporate regenerative cotton from its pilot farms into product lines in two to six seasons.)
But with the incredible environment-saving potential of regenerative farming, conscious brands and consumers can hardly afford to overlook it.
“We don’t want to close our eyes and say, ‘we’re a fashion group, we’re not linked with agriculture,'” says Kering’s Vallejo. “We think it’s our responsibility to encourage the best practices of today.”
European Sustainable Business Federation call on Textile Producers
The European Sustainable Business Federation – has called on textile producers to transform their industry from a linear to a circular model. This is due to waste and pollution from the production of textiles and clothing, which it says have become “critical issues.”
Funded by the C&A Foundation, it lays out what it calls the “five pillars,” a set of policy instruments aiming to accelerate and mainstream a European circular fashion economy. These are: innovation policies; economic incentives; regulation; trade policies and voluntary actions.
Innovation policies focus on research programmes with subsidies, investment tax deduction and support for technological development, innovation and small and medium-sized enterprises. Economic incentives are targeted towards procurement, extended producer responsibility, VAT, and a tax shift to drive market demand for circular products and services.
Regulation involves establishing and enforcing a common regulatory framework for transparency and traceability, circular design and improved end-of-waste status across the EU. Trade policies hope to facilitate export of semi- finished products and sort reusable textile waste to producing countries, avoiding negative social impacts in countries that produce.
“Governmental policies create the rules by which companies and economies operate. Without an enabling policy framework, circular economy will never become mainstream. The intention of this report is to offer other organisations and the industry a baseline of policies from which to build on,” said Douwe Jan Joustra, head of circular transformation at C&A Foundation.
He added: “with the support of C&A Foundation, Ecopreneur is also working to increase its cooperation with NGOs and other stakeholders, expand its European business network and support the fashion industry in creating a European circular economy policy strategy.”
Manfred Mühlberger, president of Ecopreneur, said: “Ecopreneur recommends to further develop the optimal policy mix into a detailed strategy for the sector’s advocacy and communicate the messages and actions listed in this report in a concerted action. We therefore call on the fashion industry to jointly work on this circular fashion advocacy agenda.”
University of Massachusett’s students fight Fast Fashion
Shirts, sweaters, shoes, skirts and more were all up for grabs this past Thursday evening in Greeno Sub Shop at the University of Massachusetts. Over 50 students gathered for a clothing swap meant to reuse old and unused clothing and tackle the problem of “fast fashion.”
The event was organised by Sustainable Style UMass, an initiative created in March by students from UMass Hillel as part of their social justice internship. This was the group’s first exchange.
“The idea behind this is to eliminate clothing waste,” said Gilat Bailen, a freshman sociology major and event organizer who started Sustainable Style UMass after recently learning about “fast fashion,” defined by Merriam- Webster as “an approach to the design, creation, and marketing of clothing fashions that emphasizes making fashion trends quickly and cheaply available to consumers.”
“I think [fast fashion is] one of those things that everyone sort of knows about in the back of their mind, but you don’t really want to open your eyes to it,” said Bailen. “Once I started really opening my eyes to it, seeing how horrible of an issue this really is and how easily it could be fixed I just thought this [swap] would be a really fun idea.”
The clothing swap has multiple benefits, according to its organizers. The general rule for the swap was “leave one, take one,” where students would trade however many articles of clothing they brought with them in exchange for new ones all for free, while at the same time clearing out their closets of unused or unwanted clothing.
Those without clothes to trade could use the digital payment app Venmo to pay the organizers for any clothing they wished to take with them. Sophomore organizer and political science and legal studies major Sofia Langman
explained that all proceeds and leftover clothing would also be donated to the Amherst Survival Center, so that these items do not continue to go unused.
The organisers added that the group Rack City Thrift aided in donations as well. Rack City’s mission statement is that they are a “student-run initiative that strives to keep clothing affordable, ethical, out of the landfill, while supporting on-campus sustainability projects.”
“The fashion industry is really horrible at this point,” Bailen said. “We’re basically in an era where clothing brandstry to create clothes really fast, really cheap, so that people will throw them away and buy new clothes very fast.”
Bailen explained that in this fast-paced and trend-based consumer culture that, “so many clothes end up in landfills, it’s a huge waste of water and resources [and] the workers – since it’s usually outsourced to other countries – are barely paid a dollar an hour.”
According to the EPA, “landfills received 10.5 million tons of [municipal solid waste] textiles in 2015. This was 7.6 percent of all MSW landfilled.”
The EPA added, “The recycling rate for all textiles was 15.3 percent in 2015, with 2.5 million tons recycled,” meaning only a fraction of discarded clothing generated was recycled.
“In doing this [swap] we’re trying to promote trading clothes, thrifting, buying more sustainable longer-lasting clothes,” said Bailen, “I think everyone has stuff in their closet that they don’t want and they’re never going to use and you can get new stuff literally for free. And then also it prevents that waste.”
When asked which brands hold up better than others in terms of sustainability, Bailen noted that moderately more expensive clothing brands with more durable clothing, such as Gap Inc., tend to fare better in fighting fast fashion than Instagram-based brands and lower-cost options, such as Forever 21 and H&M, which she explained are “names that are thrown around a lot.”
While tackling a serious issue, the organizers also got in on the fun. Bailen and Langman each brought bundles of clothes from home or donated by friends and relatives to the swap.
“Everyone brought such cool things, everyone has such nice style. I was nervous it was going to be all like old, used gym T-shirts and things like that, but everyone brought such nice stuff,” said Langman, who snagged a reversible jacket for herself as well.
“I think this is a really fun thing that anyone can do, like it didn’t take a long time to put this together, it didn’t take a lot of work, word spread really quickly and like everyone’s having a lot of fun, so I don’t know why you wouldn’t do it,” Bailen said.
Source: Daily Collegian
CARBIOS to reinvent the lifecycle of plastic and textile poliymers
CARBIOS, a company pioneering new bio-industrial solutions to reinvent the lifecycle of plastic and textile polymers, is pleased to announce that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has granted CARBIOS a patent on its proprietary process for polyethylene terephthalate (PET) recycling from plastic waste using enzymatic technology.
The patent granting (US 10,124,512) recognizes CARBIOS for its invention of a method for recycling PET from a mixture of plastic waste products using enzymes, to specifically depolymerize PET into its basic monomers. The monomers can then be transformed back into usable polymers for the manufacturing of new plastic products, such as bottles and packaging.
This patent, filed back in November 2013 by CARBIOS, is the first granted patent in the U.S. applied to this PET plastic recycling method. This U.S. patent protects CARBIOS’ proprietary innovation through 2033. Beside the acceptance of this patent, CARBIOS currently holds 98 titles worldwide representing 29 patent families, six of which protect in full its proprietary method of biorecycling and five of which are related to PET degrading enzymes.
Jean-Claude Lumaret, CEO of CARBIOS, commented: “This patent strengthens our competitive position for the recycling of PET and it is gratifying to have the United States Patent and Trademark Office recognize the innovative nature of our proprietary technology.”
North America — United States, Canada, and Mexico — represents a significant contribution of the global PET market, producing 7 percent (4.6 metric tons)1 and consuming 21 percent (14.6 metric tons)2 of the world’s PET. The U.S. acceptance of CARBIOS’ patent on its process for PET recycling from plastic waste using enzymatic technology further confirms the strength of its intellectual property rights and paves the way for the Company’s expansion within this market.
CARBIOS’ biological process for depolymerizing PET allows for the development of a cost-efficient circular economy for plastic recycling without the need for extensive sorting generally required by conventional thermo- mechanical or chemical methods. Indeed, biorecycling of PET plastic using CARBIOS’ technology could lead to a much higher rate of efficient plastic recycling worldwide.
Source: Textile World
Industry leaders have come together to create a new model of Growth by 2022
Over 300 heads of business and government will meet in the city today to deliberate on finding clean energy solutions and setting up working models to manage plastic waste
Industry leaders have come together under the umbrella of India 2022 Coalition to address the climate change issues bogging the country. On Tuesday, about 300 business and government leaders will deliberate on finding solutions and achieving sustainability.
Launched in 2017, Xynteo, a Norway-based environmental advisory, is spearheading the platform for galvanising leaders and catalysing ideas. The global business coalition is committed to creating a new model of growth by 2022, industry leaders said.
This year, the partners have decided to focus on solving four challenges: finding clean energy solutions, establishing working models for managing plastic waste, delivering high quality and accessible diagnostic healthcare, and adopting the best sustainable mining practices.
Sanjiv Mehta, chairman & managing director, Hindustan Unilever Ltd, said, “We have started seeing traction. This is a business-led coalition. We have some of the most respected names internationally and from India. The whole idea was how can we come together, pull our resources and look at some of the impracticable problems that face society.”
He added, “Mining is so critical for our development but very clearly the perception of mining has got tarnished and we need to correct that by doing it in a sustainable fashion. The narrative on plastic has changed dramatically over the years as plastic as waste has created a big issue. So it is all about innovation, putting our collective might together, bringing in a fresh lens to look at whole problems and then working on pilots. And once we have got the proof of advances, then we will start working on scaling it up. That has brought us together.”
Thierry Pilenko, executive chairman, TechnipFMC, said, “Between the waste track and the energy track, we have found synergy. Once you take plastic waste you can actually recycle it to some extent, or you can transform it back to the state when it was in the form of a petroleum product. So it is back from plastic to fuel.” Mr. Pilenko said the coalition has identified some tangible projects which can be implemented the world over. He said, “We are now in a position to identify the technology at the right scale. That could be implemented to transform plastic waste into fuel. We have shortlisted three technologies, including one from India, which we think will be the most efficient by cost. In the next few months, we will build a business model around that and will start thinking about how to invest in the plant.”
Deepak Natrajan, CFO, Indian Region, Baker Hughes, a GE company, said, “The effort of this coalition is to come out with solutions to problems. We are having a constructive collaborative approach to overcome some of the challenges.” Satish Pai, managing director, Hindalco Industries, said, “The issues on mining are around environment, having the sustainable energy, handling the waste, livelihood and sanitation. The Aditya Birla group with presence across sectors can provide a platform where these projects can be piloted. And if they work, we can rapidly scale up.”
Harry Brekelmans, Project & Technology Director, Royal Dutch Shell, said the partnership was to support India in achieving its objectives to meet sustainable development goals. He said, “We are looking at sustainable solutions. It could be a combination of renewable energy coming together from wind, solar, also complimented by gas to make sure that we have reliable access to affordable energy. In addition we are looking at development of biofuels and particularly with respect to development of waste to fuel.”
Source: The Hindu
ISKO fabrics manufactured in a responsible way
Isko opened its new distribution centre in İnegöl, Turkey, touting a culture of “all-around improvement.”
There is a denim revolution coming — and sustainability is at the crux of the movement. And as more denim brands commit to operating a wholly transparent supply chain, companies such as Isko, a denim and textile manufacturer, distributor and ingredient brand based in İnegöl, Turkey, are moving the needle while speedily working to exceed even the most conscious consumers’ expectations.
Sustainability, today, could perhaps be synonymous with efficiency. According to a report from financial services firm HSBC, its survey of more than 8,500 companies in 34 markets found that 31 percent of businesses globally are making sustainability-related changes across their supply chains; and of those businesses, 84 percent cited cost efficiencies and improved revenues, as well as financial performance, as the primary motivations for change, all according to the report.
And Isko, a family-owned company that was founded in 1983 as a division of Sanko Textile Industries, emphasizes that its sustainable manufacturing processes enable greater efficiency and supply chain accountability. Its new distribution center that opened this year at its headquarters in İnegöl, a bucolic city in northwest Turkey surrounded by snow-capped mountains, is a nod to a new era of sustainable design and function. As the largest denim manufacturer and oldest sustainable mill with 35 offices worldwide, the firm is unsurprisingly also one of the top sustainable denim suppliers — working with brands such as Reformation, ReDew, Donovan and Madewell, among many others — with a production capacity of over 800 million feet of fabric annually.
Rosey Cortazzi, the global marketing director at Isko, told WWD that its sleek, futuristic facility is “absolutely state of the art”; some areas look like a scene out of “The Matrix.” The space is over 38000 square feet with 128000 “cells,” or locations, that can each contain a fabric roll of up to 1,600 feet of material, according to Cortazzi. “Seven automated robots process every single order, in a controlled environment where oxygen levels are kept at 16 percent to prevent oxidation and fires, as normal oxygen levels in the air are at 21 percent. The warehouse is fully automated and no human beings are employed inside the distribution center,” she noted.
Part of Isko’s solution-oriented approach to sustainable manufacturing is meeting the niche market needs of each client from production to distribution. Cortazzi continued, “No one has a crystal ball and is able to predict every fashion trend. We see that retailers, brands and particularly e-commerce players are wanting to shorten lead times and deliver product closer to market. They also want to rapidly repeat winning styles. Our new distribution center will help us to increase our productivity efficiency helping our customers to ensure that they have the right stock, at the right time, and in the right place. It obviously makes sense from a carbon footprint point of view to have the warehouse in İnegöl, adjacent to our production facility.”
Cortazzi added that all of Isko’s fabrics “are manufactured in a responsible way. At Isko, to produce has always meant to take care of the environment, the people and the improvement and evolution of our sector. All of our products, from the traditional denim fabrics to our patented technologies, as well as the processes involved in their production, are the result of our ‘Responsible Innovation’ approach.”
Isko said it recently became a signatory member of the Roadmap to Zero Program, or ZDHC, which reaffirms the company’s pledge to refrain from the use of harmful substances throughout the supply chain, in addition to receiving Life Cycle Assessment (LCAs) certification for 25,000-plus products in its portfolio, Cortazzi said. “By doing this, we have become the first denim manufacturer to obtain precertified Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs), thus assessing the lifecycle of products and providing the water usage and carbon footprint of 10 feet of fabric to allow our customers to make responsible sourcing choices.”
Cortazzi continued, “We also have an Environmental Management System in place, certified to an international standard, to ensure the management of the environmental impacts at our production facilities. Under this system, we manage energy, water, waste, chemicals and emissions.” The firm is also a member of Sedex, a supply chain platform that allows brands and retailers to see how their suppliers are meeting their social and ethical responsibilities, the company noted.
Isko strongly differentiates through its commitment providing research and design resources as a service to its clients that aim to help brands gain a competitive edge. While the firm has a laboratory charged with developing new denim technologies filled with engineers, scientists and even geneticists on its premises in Bursa, its Creative Room, based in Castelfranco Veneto, Italy, is solely focused on design and style research. Led by Massimo Munari, art director, its Creative Room offers tailor-made services for brands to enhance fabrics through solutions ranging from trend and product development to raw material testing or research niche topics, such as on print and embroidery. And Iskoteca, its division that specializes in research and experimentation based in San Benedetto del Tronto, Italy, provides customized services for brands that include garment traceability, workshops dedicated to product culture and industry developments, and a sharp focus on “exploration of new treatments and finishings,” the company said.
Especially for denim – which is notoriously known as of the apparel industry’s biggest pollutants -attaining a handful of certifications does distinguish the “sustainable” from the rest. Certifications can verify the sustainability of production processes; health and well-being of workers; the use of organic and recycled materials to meet sustainable fiber requirements, and verify that dye and colorant requirements are fulfilled. But for Isko, perhaps its greenest product yet is its Earth Fit collection, which is described as a top-end and fully integrated sustainable approach to denim.
Through the use of fibers such as organic cotton, pre-consumer recycled cotton and post-consumer recycled polyester from PET bottles, Earth Fit is the first fabric collection ever to receive both the Nordic Swan Ecolabel and EU Ecolabel certifications. Isko’s Ebru Ozkucuk Guler, a senior sustainability and CSR executive, told WWD that the firm is most differentiated by its sustainability initiatives because of its ongoing philosophy to “[Be] humble and still [be] curious about what we have to do for the next step. I would never say that we are competing with someone or that we’re doing the best, or the greatest work.” She continued, “[In sustainability], there is never a peak point. You have to develop day by day, and think about the next step,” adding that “self-assessment is [an important] topic for us.”
From a luxury apparel perspective, the “seduction” of sustainability is also significant, as appeasing the consumer-led demand for premium sustainable denim has become a top priority for brands in the sector. “Currently there is a seduction around sustainability, which holds huge opportunity for brands,” said Sam Trotman, a denim trend consultant for Denim Dudes, a Los Angeles-based consultancy firm. “The luxury sector is re-branding our aspiration through a new conscious and visionary approach to manufacturing and marketing that is adding a greater sense of what luxury should stand for. No longer is the simple premise of buying high-end fashion and luxury goods just for the sake of ownership a valid business model for brands. Customers are seeking meaning and value and fashion brands are having to embed purpose and ethics at the core of what they are doing.” Trotman added, “In 2020, the notion of quality over quantity — less is more — will be the reigning ideology.”
Comment by Virginia F. Bodmer-Altura, Publisher of TextileFuture:
This is the first issue of Yarns and Fibers. They are headquartered in Mumbai, India and we would like to commend the editorial team for taking some focus on Sustainability and Climate Change. We think it is well orchestrated and presented, as well it serves as a summary of facts.
However, regular readers of TextileFuture will know most of the information items already, because, we publish such facts all along our publications – and from the very beginning – might it be under News or as Newsletters, or in our Event items. Thus, this meets our promise to present to you always the state-of-the-art novelties, innovations, including economic background and facts along the textile value chain. Our weekly round-up of News will most of the time show such items under Sustainability or Innovations in the relevant articles of the week.
We are convinced, that we handle all aspects (with sometimes also examples of other industries) totally in your interest. We think “constant dripping wears away the stone”. Therefore we will keep you informed in the established manner, because sustainability and climate change are urgent and important, but we shy away to make it the only focus of the multi-facetted textile business reporting! This said does not mean that we underestimate the commendable Yarns and Fibers’ intent to accomplish the aim to sensibilise their world with a new focussed publication.
Newsletter of last week:
Chinese Hainan will get its Free Trade Zone https://textile-future.com/?p=21651
Here is the Review of last week’s NEWS. For your convenience just click on the feature for fast access.
Automation of manufacturing plants – Ericsson and ABB sign MoA https://textile-future.com/?p=21709
Aurora Wins 2019 Sustainable Business Recognition Award from SGIA, the Specialty Graphic Imaging Association https://textile-future.com/?p=21775
Chr. Hansen in joint venture to accelerate momentum in microbiome https://textile-future.com/?p=21802
VF Corporation announces Public Filing of Form 10 Registration Statement for planned separation of Kontoor Brands, Inc. and availability of Investor Presentation https://textile-future.com/?p=21740
New Deal for Consumers: European Commission welcomes provisional agreement on strengthening EU consumer protection rules https://textile-future.com/?p=21783
The April Cotton Data from ICAC https://textile-future.com/?p=21834
USDA – Greece Cotton and Products Annual 2019 https://textile-future.com/?p=21894
Flash estimate – March 2019 Euro Area annual inflation down to 1.4 % https://textile-future.com/?p=21732
OECD annual inflation stable at 2.1 % in February 2019 https://textile-future.com/?p=21763
US robot density now more than double that of China https://textile-future.com/?p=21809
U.S. adds 196000 Jobs in March – Unemployment at 3.8 % https://textile-future.com/?p=21934
Internet of Things Applications Conference https://textile-future.com/?p=21681
Chinese CASIC to make its second appearance on HANNOVER MESSE https://textile-future.com/?p=21692
Press conference in view of 4th Bangladesh Int’l. Garment & Textile Machinery Expo 2019 https://textile-future.com/?p=21703
China’s booming automotive market presents opportunities for nonwovens producers at China International Nonwovens Expo https://textile-future.com/?p=21706
Vandewiele showcases at Techtextil in Frankfurt, Germany https://textile-future.com/?p=21717
JEC WORLD set to confirm leadership as the foremost event of the Composite Materials Industry https://textile-future.com/?p=21793
Archroma at China Interdye with innovations and solution systems for enhanced sustainability, colour and performance https://textile-future.com/?p=21805
SHIMA SEIKI’s presence at SaigonTex 2019 https://textile-future.com/?p=21813
Saurer presents TechnoCorder TC2 with innovation package at Techtextil 2019 https://textile-future.com/?p=21830
Italian Textile Machinery sector is a major player at Techtextil in Frankfurt, Germany https://textile-future.com/?p=21880
Texprocess Forum: expertise for the textile-processing industry and trade https://textile-future.com/?p=22054
Influencer and Fashion
How influencer become part of fashion trends https://textile-future.com/?p=21771
Recycling Multi Jet Fusion PA 12 Powder into Filament https://textile-future.com/?p=21684
Xi’an Jiaotong University: Chinese Researchers Create New Hydrogel 3D Printing System https://textile-future.com/?p=21696
Marzoli Transport System: installations in several countries create high customer satisfaction https://textile-future.com/?p=21723
BCG Digital Ventures and Sartorius Help Launch the World’s First Voice-powered Digital Assistant for Scientists https://textile-future.com/?p=21777
A new player starts in the market for warp preparation machines in India https://textile-future.com/?p=21728
Italy to become the First G7 Country to Join China’s Belt and Road Initiative https://textile-future.com/?p=21854
adidas and Beyoncé announce iconic Partnership https://textile-future.com/?p=21877
Joules CEO Colin Porter to resign after 5 years https://textile-future.com/?p=21759
Matthew Roberts appointed as CEO of Intu https://textile-future.com/?p=21759
Johannes Bollmann joins Group Executive Committee of Swiss Zehnder Group https://textile-future.com/?p=21759
Swiss State Secretary Hirayama at an informal EU ministerial meeting on research and innovation https://textile-future.com/?p=21781
Sir Philip Green to woo landlords with 20 % Arcadia shares https://textile-future.com/?p=21744
Foot Locker Investor Day 2019: Investing in Youth Culture through Physical and Digital Experiences; 200 Power Stores by 2023 https://textile-future.com/?p=21749
My Size Launches MySizeID™ Mobile Measurement Solution to lightspeed Platform https://textile-future.com/?p=21785
Gilt launches partnership with Rachel Zoe https://textile-future.com/?p=21787
Centric Software celebrates 300 PLM Customers https://textile-future.com/?p=21790
Review highlights weaknesses in Apparel Sustainability Rating System https://textile-future.com/?p=21798
Positive review of Switzerland’s international cooperation by the OECD https://textile-future.com/?p=21931
WTO members consider six regional trade agreements https://textile-future.com/?p=21892