Green is still the way forward in the fashion industry and environmental issues arise at all stages of the textile and apparel supply chain. One of the world’s largest research company, Research and Markets just published a report covering the latest of green textiles and apparel. The report informs of how the further growth of the textile trade has contributed to the complications to our environment and climate changes. Even though apparel production can be more environmentally friendly, sourcing from low cost countries consumes more fuel for transportation. The trend towards fast fashion and cheaper clothing has led to a throwaway mentality, according to Research and Markets.
Going green is still a hot news item and environmental issues are being addressed. Market and Research reports it’s a shame recycling activity remains at a low level for economic and quality reasons. Retailers do try by promoting recycling schemes, and voluntarily attaching “eco-labels” to garments to give environmental information. Research and Markets points out, these labels shows us varying levels of success in the marketplace, and they focus on different aspects. Varying from “best practice” in manufacturing to a single aspect of an item such as its environmental or social attributes.
Markets and Research mentions other initiatives, which aim to encourage safe and eco-friendly chemical production such as REACH (Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals). In the USA the Toxic Substances Control Act (TCSA) enables the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to track industrial chemicals produced in or imported into the country.
The production of organic cotton growing quickly, but unfortunately only covers small fraction of the global cotton output. There is hope says Markets and Research report, as organic cotton is being adopted by high profile companies such as C&A, Coop, Nike, Wal-Mart, and Woolworths. The report concludes its research by naming brands and manufacturing companies that are pursuing environmentally friendly strategies such as American Apparel, Gap, Interface, Patagonia, and Wal-Mart in the USA as well as Rohner Textil in Switzerland, and a small knitwear company in India, MaHan, which was founded by a former teacher from the Netherlands.