Today more than ever before, it is important to talk about sustainable textiles. The Tons of Greenhouse Gas that each year is released into the atmosphere because of the textile production surpass those of air traffic or shipping transportation. Of this, 60% depends on the production of fashion textile, whilst of the remaining 40% a part depends on the textile for interiors.
This is the starting point for the analysis of sustainability in the high-end textiles for interiorsthat Chiara Beghelli carried out for Il Sole24ore that highlights how, some companies – one of which is l’Opificio – “whilst preserving antique knowledge and techniques, propose new collections investing in environmental and cultural sustainability”.
The Greenhouse Gas is only one of the elements that need consideration. The heavy metals, such as formaldehyde and the aromatic amine, are the toxic agentsused during the different phases of the textile production. They allow the use of low quality and cheap yarns instead of high quality ones, and they are present during the most critical phases of production for environmental and product contamination risk, it means the humid cycles like: washing, mercerization, bleaching, dyeing, printing and finishing.
The heavy metals are mainly used during the dyeing phase, whilst formaldehyde is used during the finishing and the washing of the natural fibres; it is also present in the crease-resistant resin, in the finishing treatments easy-care, in fixing-agents for colouring materials, in bonding and fixing agents for printing and as anti-mold and stabilizer.
According to the Ministry of Health “formaldehyde causes eye-, nose- and throat-irritations; sneeze and cough, tiredness and skin-rush; humans sensitized or with immunology deficiency to formaldehyde could get strong reaction also to minimal quantities of formaldehyde. Normal quantities of formaldehyde in our homes counts for possible irritation to the airway and mucosa, especially after restructuring works or because of the installation of new furniture. Formaldehyde is considered one of the causes of the Sick Building Syndrome, and therefore it is used as a parameter for the indoor contamination of mixed substances not solvable. In 2004 formaldehyde has been indicated in the IARC among the substances of group 1 (carcinogenic). Being a substance with a possible carcinogenic action it is recommended the lowest concentration possible. OMS fixed the value to 0,1mg/m3 (average per 30 minutes).
In the United States EPA – Environment Protection Agency – has anticipated to the 1stJune 2018 the enforcement of the law relative to the emission of formaldehyde from wood products “Formaldehyde Emission Standards for Composite Wood Product Rule” adopting the limitation on formaldehyde emissions imposed by the CARB “California Air Resources Board”.
The limitation in using heavy metals in the textiles depends on the recognised negative effect on the human metabolism(toxicity and mutagenicity) and to their allergenic effect. The toxicity can happen not only by ingestion, but also through epidermis transportation caused by the contact.
On the contrary, groups of aromatic amines, dangerous for their carcinogenic action, are included in the dye and can develop in specific conditions.
l’Opificio sustainable textile uses exclusively high quality fibres, carefully selected, produced respecting the animals and the environment. This is the best way to respect the human being and his environment.
l’Opificio is proud to be “formaldehyde-free” and to produce beautiful and safe textiles for the human being without compromising the design.