For the user it becomes more and more difficult to understand the level of authenticity and effective sustainability of the products proposed on the market.
We take as starting point the new book “Dressing good, clean and well” written by Dario Casalini published by Slow Food Editore with the introduction by Carlo Petrini for few details about sustainability.
As a matter of fact, this first book, as Carlo Petrini says °highlighted, as it was necessary” all the aspects of the textile industry, most of the time ignored from those who use the products, contributing in this way unknowingly to increase and accelerate damaging processes and gifting with success companies good in making greenwashing but in reality far away from having healthy and ethic processes.
The textile industry carries a fundamental role, being the one that pollute the most worldwide.
Made by a very long production chain that starts with the plantation, the rearing, the harvesting of natural fibres, or from the production of artificial and synthetic fibres, than dyed and transformed in threads or directly in a cloth, subsequently sewn to make finished dresses for the fashion system or becoming home decoration, and finally all the logistic like labelling, packaging up to the transport.
Today the textile industry in all is responsible for 10% of CO2 emissions and uses 20% of the water for the dyeing processes, the second major cause of water pollution and pumps 90 mil tons of solid waste each year among which micro plastic left over during the washing process of synthetic fibres.”
To this respect, as mentioned in our article “Sustainable Textile” on 5th June 2019 in this blog, 60% of the textile production is meant for fashion and of the remaining 40% a part is earmarked to home textile production.
This doesn’t reduce the importance of knowing which implication has the production chain behind the products meant for home décor for the environment, ethic and health.
The production chain behind a dress, an accessory or a home textile, a cushion or a quilt shown in a show window is very complicated and includes numerous transformations of the row material that often happen among very distant places.
It starts from the textile fiber – which can be natural – of plant origin like cotton, linen, hemp – or animal -for example silk or wool or artificial – made by man from natural row material like cellulose for viscose among which we can count modal, lyocell or tencel – or synthetic – obtained through a chemical synthesis of polymer of non-natural origin, like the polyamide or nylon, polyester or acrylic.
• The textile fibre needs to be transformed in string, then a flock and then in a thread or textile, it will be dyed, in virtuous cases without harmful chemicals or, has it happens in many parts of the world, with very harmful chemical substances, including heavy metals – like chrome or mercury – the use of which has been forbidden in Europe. Therefore, it is fundamental to know which substances have been used, how the polluted waste water has been drained, with which environmental impact and production processes and in which working conditions dyeing and production happen.
• Moreover, dyeing doesn’t only create an environmental problem and healthy concerns for the workers, but also a relevant healthy problem for the users.
• The last process a dress goes through before ending on a shelf is the logistic, that , in all those cases in which the production from the selling is very far away, it includes an additional negative impact on the quality of the product and on the environment.
It becomes paramount to inform us on the product that we are buying, as we do when we buy food, as the skin is our largest organ and it works like a sponge that for osmosis absorbing all substances it comes in contact with introducing them in the inner organism.
This will be a matter of a next article.
For the moment let’s stay tuned.