The Importance of Clothes Recycling Towards Green World

Clothes Recycling

The clothes recycling practices is no doubt a healthy and positive activity towards eco-friendly goal. The apparel and textile industry is no doubt one the biggest polluting industry after oil and gas industry. From spinning to final product finishing, each and every step is consuming too much water and synthetic harmonized chemicals. And these chemicals are not only contaminated our water but also affecting our natural environment as well. It is estimated that 20 thousand tons of indigo are produced annually for the purpose of dyeing of denim jeans. Initially, this indigo dye was made from plants but now it is synthetically made. By the passage of time, this problem is getting sever and more intensive. So, today beside water and chemical issue, we are also facing a problem of wasted clothes. Which is a gift to our environment from the followers of fast fashion trends?

As per the research, approximately 450 million pairs of jeans are sold in US every year. And the study proved that a single American owns “07” pairs of blue jeans. Whereas, other research study revealed that an Americans spend approximately $2000 on apparels or wearing products every year. But the Manhattan people buying was double from other Americans which is $400 per person per month. As far as UK people are concern, they spend nearly $70 billion per year on clothing and footwear. The UK, Italy, Germany and Europe spend around $782 per year on clothing. On the other hand, China is big exporter of textile and garments with a world-wide market share of 54%. It produces and exports 60 million cotton garments and 90 million yards cotton fabric all over the world. And this figure is on upward trend on every passing year.

Clothes Recycling Concept:

Keeping in view the above situation, where the water, chemicals and dyes consumption are already uncontrollable. And now the sheer burden of wasted-clothes is also a big challenge for the environment. The only solution for all these uncontrollable issues is clothes recycling. Through clothes recycling, we can save water, avoid pollutions of chemicals and wasted clothes as well. Although clothes recycling concept is not new for us yet even today we are not practicing it on a mass level. Accordingly to U.S. EPA 2016 report, around 16.2m tons of textile waste was generated in 2014 and out of which 2.62m tons were recycled. And most of the portion (10.46m tons) of waste was sent to landfill. As per recent research study, the single US person generates 82 pounds of textile waste per year. And out of this 82 pounds waste, only 15% is donated/recycled whereas 85% is sent to landfill.

Similarly, we heard about a lot about recycled fibre fabric. But the fact is that only 0.1% of recycled fiber took back into program and recycled into new fibre. If we analyze the annual environmental affect of houshold’s wasted clothes. Then it would be equal to 1000 water bath tubs and carbon emissions from driving of a car for 6000 miles. In UK, a research study was commissioned by Sainsbury and according to that around 235m items ended up on landfill in last spring. As people were planning to refill their wardrobes for summer’s clothes collections. Although in UK, the percentage of clothing throwing to landfill is 14% less than the previous year. As it is 3,00,000 tons instead of 3,50,000 tons. Even then there are lots of things which we need to do to enhance the practices for recycling in an ordinary consumer.

Clothes Recycling Efforts:   

As per the above study results, the major portion of the wasted clothes went to landfill. And every cloth has different fabric composition and construction. So, its decomposition time is different due to its inner ingredients. So, dumping a different composition/construction of garments isn’t a good idea. Because, there are some synthetic materials which take more than 400 years for decomposing.  So, as we discussed earlier, the best and ideal way is clothes recycling. And we can promote this approach by following way:

  • First of all check your local council or charity organization which accepts textile or clothes for recycling.
  • Always try to find out your nearest clothes bank in supermarkets, car parking. Where, you can drop your unwanted garments for clothes recycling.
  • There are so many places where you can even sale your old clothes and get cash. As you can even sell the same through online retailers like Ebay, Kijiji etc.
  • There are so many charities or community group of people who earn money through recycling goods selling. And this money they invest into another community welfare projects.

Textile & Clothes Recycling Potential:

In some products, if a clothes recycling is not possible then that product can be recycled into fabric, wiping cloths, auto insulation, carpet pads, etc. In short, the awareness of the clothes recycling is increasing due to eco-friendly approach and landfill pressure. So, we have to take this thing very seriously that how we could educate our surroundings about clothes recycling benefits. There are only 500 – 550 recycling companies in US which are own and operating by small family businesses. Although, the United States textile recycling industry is also recycling fewer quantity (approximate 2.5 billion pounds) of textile waste. And the similar insufficient situation we are also experiencing in UK market as well. So, in order to have a sustainable lifestyle, everyone from us should take part in recycling practices process.

 

How Jeans Industry can be Sustainable through Technology

How Jeans Industry can be Sustainable through Technology

The denim jeans industry is considered as one the most polluting industry of the world especially in terms of water and chemical. The production and washing of one pair denim jeans consumes over 900 gallons of water. It is estimated that almost five billion pairs of jeans are currently produced in every year. And for the production of this, almost 420 million gallons of water is consumed. Moreover, 900,000 tons of chemicals are used in different washing and finishing processes. The water which is used in the manufacturing processes, get contaminated and this polluted water sent back to our rivers, lakes and oceans. As per the World Bank estimation, almost 20% of global industrial water pollution comes from the textile and Jeans Industry. In China, the textile industry pumps-out 2.5 billion tons of polluted water every year.

Jeans Industry Efforts Towards Sustainability:

The Global women’s wear industry reached worth nearly $621 billion. Whereas, the global men’s wear industry reached worth nearly $400 billion and children’s wear industry is worth $186 billion. This abnormal increase is also ruining our nature and its resources during dyeing and production.  And due to fast fashion trend, soon it turned as sheer burden on environment in the shape of waste clothes. Keeping in the view the whole scenario, the jeans industry people started working on the substantial changes in production processes. So that they could satisfy their consumer’s fashion lust without damaging the nature. Thanks to the technology people who strived a lot to give us multiple sustainable manufacturing options to the jeans industry.

Jeanolgia Technology:

Currently, there are so many organizations which researched a lot on the conventional way of jeans industry production process. Till-to-date, fortunately, we have multiple options through which we can meet the current fashion trends without damaging our natural resources. Jeanolgia is also one of those who contributed a lot to make this world more sustainable through eco-friendly production processes. For jeans industry, they focused on two factors which we already discussed above i.e. water and chemical consumption. As per the company, their goal is to reduce the pollution upto 50% which is caused by jeans industry. And for this, they have introduced different technologies like G2 ozone and  eFlow nanobubbles technology. By the help of which you can reduce an average 20 litres of water, 05 grams chemical and 01 kw/h energy.

Not only this, their awesome technology named “One Glass One Garment” is a tremendous achievement towards environment sustainalbity. Yes, it’s possible now that you can develop garment by using only one glass of water. No doubt, it’s milestone in a garment production process as you can safe million gallons of water through this technology. This is why, currently 20% of the global jeans industry is using Jeanolgia technology. All the big and famous brands like Abercrombie & Fitch, Levi’s, Diesel, Polo Jeans, Replay, Pepe Jeans, Hilfiger Denim, CK, Jack & Jones, Lee, Edwin Japan and other big retailers like GAP, H & M, Uniqlo and M & S are currently using their technology extensively. Not only this, if we look at the world then their technology is using in 05 continents and specifically in 60 countries. The main countries include United States, Pakistan, Japan, Russia, Bangladesh, Turkey, India, and Vietnam.

Alliance for Responsible Denim:

Alliance for Responsible Denim is an initiative which was started a year ago. And it was launched by the Hogeschool van Amsterdam, House of Denim, Circle Economy and Made-By. The famous International brands G-Star, Mud Jeans, Nudie Jeans with join hands some small but famous denim labels like Kings of Indigo, Kuyichi, Cool Cat, Just Brands and Imps & Elfs are the first brands to join this initiative. Along with that, the leading denim mills named Bossa, Kilim Denim, Orta Anadolu, Tavex and Tejidos Royo as well as 02 yarn mills were also in first movers list.

The main aim of this collaboration was to make jeans industry smarter, cleaner along with sustainable production processes. As per the alliance members, they are looking for the ways that how they can improve the denim finish in a more sustainable way. Secondly, they are collaborating with the mills to develop such recycled fabric which would come-up with the demands of end-users. And last-but-not-least, they are also encouraging brands to use these recycled fabrics for their upcoming collections. Uptill now, this collaboration developed 40 different fabrics with different percentage of recycled fabric varying from 10% -25%. Now they are trying to stimulate brands to use these fabrics into their collection so that they can mutually contribute towards green environment.

Some Closing Lines:

There are so many other techniques and group of people who are striving to save the nature and natural resources. Some are offering products or methods so that processes or final products can be enhanced towards sustainability. And other are supporting from every aspect to those people who are working for better environment. Sustainability is a name of continues efforts and can’t be stopped at any stage. Every day and every moment we need something new or more refine so that we could influence less to green natural environment from man-made chemicals and other products.

05 Ethical and Eco Friendly Jeans Brands Guideline

05 Ethical and Eco Friendly Jeans Brands Guideline

Most of the denim jeans brands are now emphasizing on eco-friendly product attributes in their offered range. As we all knew this thing that even an ordinary consumer who don’t have any know how about the textile industry, demands for sustainable product. The reason behind this awareness is a voice of “whistle blower” now finally awaked both consumers and manufacturers. Despite of all this, textile industry is still the 3rd most polluting industry of the world. Not only this, it’s the second largest consumer of water. And as per research, a normal single pair of jeans consumes 10,000 litres water in its different making processes. It’s not end, the chemicals which normally used for dying and washing process are also polluted our environment and water. Keeping aside the environment issues, this labor-intensive industry is also facing several health hazards and other human rights issues in many places.

Eco Friendly Jeans Brands Analysis:

Although we appreciate the jeans brands positive efforts towards green environment and other labor issues. Yet we need to specify this thing too that at what level they should drag themselves towards sustainability. In other words, we can say that how much ethical is actually ethical for our society and environment. So, while analyzing a sustainable brand, we would consider all the factors which we described above. And in case of missing or less participation on any category by the brand, wouldn’t be consider as eco-friendly brand. Below we choose some best eco friendly jeans brands whose sustainable practices are contributing a lot for our environment as well as for our society.

Reformation:

A Los Angles based brand, created in 2009 with an aim to refine the denim industry through eco friendly and sustainable practices. And for this, they made revolutionary changes in their sourcing and manufacturing process. In order to firmly follow their strict standards, most of their production is produced in their factory headquarter downtown Los Angles. Not only this, the small bulk part which is producing abroad is also gone through all their strict compliance parameters.

More than 50% of their garment range is made in Tencel, Viscose and recycled material. Along with that the 15% of fabric used in their garments are vintage or from dead stock. The energy resources are met from wind energy in their factory. And all the hourly workers are paid more than minimum wages.

Everlane:

It was founded in year 2010 as an online retailer. During its initial phase, the company gained a huge number of subscribers (around 60,000). They have started their first New York based pop up shop in 2012. And in September 2017, they have launched their first sustainable denim collections. The main distinguish thing of their product from other jeans brands is offering sustainable product in an affordable and transparent cost. Their radical transparency reveals the true cost (material, labor & transportation) of every product.  Along with its cost transparency, their material and vendor’s transparency practices are also appreciable. As their audit compliance standards are really strict regarding wages and reasonable working and residential environments.

Source Jeans:

Source Jeans is no doubt comes under the best ethical men’s jeans brands. As per the company their jeans takes 60% less water, 50% less chemical and 40% less energy as compare to other jeans brands. You didn’t find any brand label on their jeans but find two white stitches line on the back pockets. And in order to save extra material, the care instructions are also printed on pocket bags. Their partners are closely working with “Greenpeace” to develop less resource intensive product. That’s why they dyed denim with natural and biodegradable polymer which replaces harmful chemicals. They skipped sizing and mercerizing process in their denim weaving process which definitely reduces the water, energy and chemical consumption.

Kuyichi:

The said ethical brand was founded in 2000 when the founders “NGO Solidaridad” were exploring cotton industry in Peru. They were shocked to see the pollution and labor poverty level of this industry. So, they have decided to launch their own ethical brand. Since that time cotton products are hot so they decided to start their organic cotton garment line. As this line gives toxic free products with better earning source to labor and farmers.

Other than organic production, their products are also made of with recycled denim and plastic bottles. Along with that their “Underwater project” was also productive step towards green foot. As this was related to create awareness about the plastic usage in our daily life. And how it impacts our whole environment, due to its high dissolution (400years to 1000years).

AG Jeans:

Founded in year 2000 by Yul Ku, with an aim to offer premium denim range to its clients. Although they offered many successful denim ranges till year 2008. Yet in 2008, Samuel Ku (Son of Yul Ku) joined the company as creative director. It added one element into their brand which is “care”, care for the environment. They have integrated units where their state of the art styles are cutting, sewing, washing and finishing. Since everything is under their full control so that they can control the production processes in a more sustainable way. That’s why; they have already reduced their 50% water consumption in washing process and used sustainable fibers in denim fabric.