A concept that drives the industry itself to work on sustainability throughout the fashion value chain.
The search for solutions to reduce the impact on nature is crucial in all sectors of activity. And in the textile industry, in particular, is considered one of the most polluting on the planet, although there are now studies that say that it is not as polluting as is believed.
The Sustainable Apparel Coalition, promoter of the well-known Higg index to measure the environmental impact of companies, already denied in 2018 to the New York Times that the sector occupied the second position among the most polluting industries.
And to put an end to these damages, the sector itself has begun to promote the concept of regenerative fashion, a more developed and sustainable method for the environment that affects the entire value chain.
What Is Regenerative Fashion?
Regenerative fashion, beyond trying to increase the life and use of clothing as sustainable fashion does, wants to influence above all the way in which materials are produced. Both complement each other to reduce their burden on the environment.
“Regenerative fashion is one of the most practical tools we have to combat the environmental impact of the textile industry.
It offers a holistic approach to the entire process, agents and people involved in the value chain, putting ethics and care for planet Earth and all the beings that inhabit it before short-term benefits”, explains Estel Vilaseca, responsible for the fashion area of the LCI Barcelona school, a reference in educational innovation and highly attractive among international students.
And he adds: “It is about changing and transforming the entire model and introducing materials that, instead of polluting, help to regenerate, together with new design and production processes. The objective is not only to significantly reduce the harmful effects of this industry on our planet but also to contribute to creating positive impacts”.
Regenerative fashion, as Vilaseca explains, tries to minimize its impact on the environment from the first phase of the production chain. One of the methods consists of obtaining less polluting materials for textiles, such as hemp or wool, treated from its collection in sheep. Another alternative is cotton, although initially its method of production, collected through plantations, does generate a great environmental impact.
However, thanks to the development and implementation of regenerative fashion, these cotton crops are no longer intensively developed and, thus, the cultivated land does not need as many pesticides, and the pests generated are fewer, so it is reduced. soil erosion and, therefore, the impact on the environment.
Meets UN SDG Targets
In this way, the textile industry tries to assume the SDG objectives (Sustainable Development Goals) proposed by the UN and loses positions in the ranking of the most polluting sectors in the world. One of the reasons that lead him to be in such a high position is that many industries are involved in the production and consumption process.
The UN set up 17 goals to meet by 2030 with the aim of improving the social and environmental situation of the planet. The number 12 collects the necessary change in production and consumption in order to reach a situation of responsibility. In this context, regenerative fashion is born, where acquiring, using, and throwing away clothes is no longer an option, nor is their free will manufacturing.
The UN, in that list of objectives, speaks specifically of “encouraging companies, especially large companies and transnational companies, to adopt sustainable practices and incorporate information on sustainability in their reporting cycle”.
The data in this regard are alarming and hence the need for regenerative fashion. According to EEA and EPRS data collected by the Europarliament, there are 0.5 million tons of microfibers in the oceans, accounting for 35% of the microplastics released into the environment. In addition, it is estimated that between 2% and 10% of the environmental impact in the EU is produced by clothing.
In total, the consumption of clothing textiles has increased by 40% in just a few decades. The more demand, the more productive and, with the latest mechanisms of mass production, the more pollution. For all this, it is vital to resort to alternatives such as sustainable fashion to help reduce this generational threat that affects everyone.
Frequently Asked Questions About Regenerative Fashion Is Sustainable Solution For Textile Industry
What is regenerative Textiles?
1. Regenerative textiles are fabrics that are designed to be compostable or biodegradable.
2. Examples include hemp and cotton/linen blends, bamboo, and wool.
3. They have been used for centuries.
4. The fabric we use today in some applications is a combination of regenerative fibers and synthetics.
What is sustainability in relation to the textile industry?
1. There are numerous definitions of sustainability.
2. But here at Textile Matters we’re focused on the most important one: it is what happens after you buy your clothing.
3. We also believe that the way you care for your clothing matters, too.
4. Here are our tips for keeping you sustainable.
5. Our mission is to help consumers do more with less.
What is sustainable textile and fashion?
1. Eco-conscious designers use materials responsibly sourced from local or recycled sources to create sustainable products.
2. Companies and designers promote responsible consumption by offering free giveaways at stores and on social media platforms.
3. They recycle, repurpose and reduce waste.
4. Sustainable fashion brands don’t sell items made from sweatshops, are labor-free, and don’t test on animals.
5. And, they often donate a percentage of profits to environmental or human rights charities.
What is sustainability and why is it an issue in the textile industry?
1. Textile waste has become the third largest source of waste, after landfills and incineration.
2. Textiles are often made of raw materials that are in short supply, including cotton, bamboo, wool, and wood pulp.
3. Textiles are a non-renewable resource that can take thousands of years to fully degrade.
4. We consume at least 30 million tons of textiles annually worldwide, and that number is only growing.
5. Textile recycling facilities have a 40 percent failure rate, due to poor design.
Why is sustainability important in the textile industry?
1. Sustainability can boost profits.
2. Sustainability cuts costs.
3. Sustainability builds customer loyalty.
4. Sustainability raises awareness of the company’s social responsibilities.
5. Sustainability fosters corporate culture.
What are the issues in textile industry?
1. Global supply chain is fragmented and difficult to manage.
2. Lack of technology to track and manage the quality of cotton.
3. Lack of standards and regulatory agencies to enforce the quality of cotton.
4. Shortage of water and land in developing countries.
5. Inefficiency of marketing channels.
What is environmental sustainability in textile industry?
1. Use recycled cotton products instead of new ones.
2. Recycle fabric scraps into yarns for new clothes.
3. Make sure that fabrics used to manufacture clothes are made from organic materials.
4. Consider buying secondhand clothes when possible.
5. Consider buying secondhand shoes instead of purchasing new ones.
6. Buy clothes that are more durable and long-lasting.
7. Consider buying items that don’t require dry cleaning.
8. Purchase clothing or other items that can be recycled.
9. Greenwash: Make sure your t-shirt is made of organic cotton.
10. Greenwash: Avoid buying polyester or nylon.
11. Greenwash: Make sure your jeans are made of organic cotton.
12. Greenwash: Choose environmentally-friendly dyes.
13. Greenwash: Make sure your clothes can be washed without toxic chemicals.
What is importance of sustainability in textile industry?
1. Water pollution due to industrial effluents.
2. Pollution of water due to heavy metals.
3. Global warming due to deforestation and energy consumption.
4. Heavy dependence on natural resources.
5. Depletion of soil.
6. Cotton is the most common plant fiber used for textiles, but its production creates huge amounts of water pollution.
7. Textile industries are also a major source of air pollution.
8. According to Greenpeace, synthetic fibers (like polyester) are up to 5 times more harmful than cotton.
9. Most clothing sold in American stores is made from polyester, which is a petroleum-based material and is known to be a significant contributor to global warming.
10. Organic cotton, on the other hand, has less impact on the environment.
What is environmental impact of textile industry?
1. Textiles account for only 3% of all clothing production.
2. The majority of our clothes are recycled within 10 years.
3. Clothing production has a high energy demand compared to other consumer products.
4. Even though we are more environmentally aware, fashion can also be environmentally irresponsible.
5. Even with recycling, clothing is not 100% reusable.
6. Recycled textiles still require a lot of energy and resources to manufacture.
Regenerative textiles are more sustainable than conventional textile fibers, as they can be re-grown and recycled after use. They are made of materials such as hemp and cotton, which are usually derived from renewable sources and are biodegradable. They don’t produce large amounts of waste, as they are naturally recyclable. Regenerative textiles can help conserve the environment by reducing our carbon footprint, as they are less polluting than conventional textiles. They can also reduce water pollution because they don’t require as much water as conventional textiles do to produce.