Sustainable Textiles for Apparel: Fact, Fiction and Future Prospects
Brand new title
“If indigo was invented today, we would never approve it.”
Andrew Olah, founder of the Kingpins denim show, and of Olah Inc., a textile marketing, development, and sales agency in the US.
Comments like this serve to demonstrate how the spotlight is now very much on the design and manufacturing of textiles and apparel in terms of sustainability.
This report is intended to explore and clarify, as much as possible, the complex and ongoing issues surrounding sustainable textiles for apparel. It will examine and compare natural, synthetic, and regenerated fibres, and many of the processes involved in their manufacture.
The hot topic of toxic chemicals used in dyeing, printing, and finishing will be investigated, along with the progress being made in eliminating them.
Textile recycling, slow fashion, and garment longevity are re-emerging as viable concepts for impacting sustainability.
Finally, we will see how the industry’s efforts to capture, measure, communicate, and improve its environmental footprint in a transparent way are leading to collaboration, innovation, and an improved bottom line.
The report includes quotes from some of the leading players spearheading activity in this area and illustrate how sustainability must go beyond corporate social responsibility studies and philanthropic efforts to focus on the impact of textiles on the environment.
At over 27,500 words, the report truly is a comprehensive look at this evocative of subjects.
Table of contents
Chapter 1 The case for sustainable textiles
Waste and pollution
Location, location, location
Sustainable textiles and the bottom line
Beginning to see the light
Chapter 2 Nature’s way
Improving cotton’s sustainability
Beyond organic cotton: responsible production
Cotton Made in Africa (CMiA)
Sustainable Cotton Project (SCP)
The Better Cotton Initiative (BCI)
The noble naturals
Merino and organic wool
Pity the silk worm
The bast fibres
Chapter 3 The cotton alternative
The pros and cons of rayon
Lyocell, the preferred cellulosic
Chapter 4 Synthetic pros and cons
Plastics of the future
PET recycling technology
Chapter 5 A brave new world for fibre innovation
Improving on mother nature
The “cottonization” of bast
Sorona gains ground
The LAUNCH Systems Challenge
Chapter 6 The chemical cauldron
Colouring the fibre
The problems with performance textiles
The road is long
Chapter 7 Re-thinking recycling
Closing the apparel recycling loop
Natural fibre recycling
Slow fashion and garment longevity
Chapter 8 Sustainability metrics, transparency, and the collaborative supply chain
Measuring what is appropriate
The Higg Index
Third party certifications
Organic Content Standard (OCS)
Communicating to the consumer
A leaner, greener supply chain
List of tables
Table 1: Comparative energy consumption for spinning fibre
Table 2: Kg of CO2e per ton of spun fibre
Table 3: Energy profile for a cotton T-shirt vs. a polyester T-shirt
List of figures
Figure 1: Global fiber market 2012
Figure 2: Refined end uses per barrel of oil
Figure 3: The fiber demand – figures in millions of tons
Figure 4: Anonymous industry benchmarking