A serious look in your closet

Go Green – There is not Planet B

This might dissappoint you but its true. Most of the clothes in your closet might have one of the 8,000 synthetic chemicals used in fashion manufacturing, most of which contain known carcinogens and hormone disruptors and are kept undisclosed and hiding within the fibers of the industry’s most sought out styles.

$7 trillion/year clothing industry is manufactured using an astounding 8,000 synthetic chemicals. Nowadays clothes also contain toxins like formaldehyde, brominated flame retardants, and perfluorinated chemicals (Teflon) to provide “non-iron” and “non-wrinkle” qualities. Insecticides are even applied in the name of good health. 

For half a century, skin and chemicals have been interacting and creating problems like infertility, respiratory diseases, contact dermatitis, and cancer.

The more synthetic clothing you wear, the greater your risk of absorbing toxic chemicals that harm your health. Skin is the largest body organ and when toxins are absorbed through your skin, they bypass your liver, the organ responsible for removing toxins. You also may not realize that your skin keeps you healthy by venting up to a pound of toxins per day.

Knowledge is power, lets have a closer look:

Synthetic and Performance :

1. Polyester is the worst fabric you can buy. It is made from synthetic polymers that are made from esters of dihydric alcohol and terpthalic acid.

2. Acrylic fabrics are polycrylonitriles and may cause cancer, according to the EPA.

3. Rayon is recycled wood pulp that must be treated with chemicals like caustic soda, ammonia, acetone and sulphuric acid to survive regular washing and wearing.

4. Acetate and Triacetate are made from wood fibers called cellulose and undergo extensive chemical processing to produce the finished product.

5. Nylon is made from petroleum and is often given a permanent chemical finish that can be harmful.

6. Anything static resistant, stain resistant, permanent press, wrinkle-free, stain proof or moth repellant. Many of the stain resistant and wrinkle-free fabrics are treated with perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs), like Teflon.

 For half a century, skin and chemicals have been interacting and creating problems like infertility, respiratory diseases, contact dermatitis, and cancer.

The more synthetic clothing you wear, the greater your risk of absorbing toxic chemicals that harm your health. Skin is the largest body organ and when toxins are absorbed through your skin, they bypass your liver, the organ responsible for removing toxins. You also may not realize that your skin keeps you healthy by venting up to a pound of toxins per day.

Petrochemical fibers restrict and suffocate your skin shutting down toxic release. Meanwhile, they contribute to your total toxic burden and may become the “tipping point” for triggering the onset of disease. Two contributing factors •Toxic buildup in your body •Multiple chemicals that interact together to create even worse problems than the individual chemicals by themselves.

Skin rashes, nausea, fatigue, burning, itching, headaches, and difficulty breathing are all associated with chemical sensitivity. If you have mysterious health symptoms that you can’t seem to get control over, it’s worth checking out whether your clothes could be the problem.

No parent would want toxic materials in their children’s clothing. Yet according to a new Greenpeace study, a range of hazardous chemicals is being used in the production of kids’ wear from top fashion brands.

A frequent question about producing toxin-free clothing is whether it is economically feasible for textile companies to replace hazardous chemicals with safer alternatives. The answer is resoundingly yes; doing so is essential if companies want to keep their business sustainable Entire groups of toxic chemicals, previously ubiquitous in the supply chain, have been phased out by such companies within a short period of time – for example, biodegradable biopolymer and fluorocarbon-free water repellent materials are used as safer alternatives. More importantly, these companies have created incentives for “upstream” players in the textile supply chain, those who provide dyes and detergents, to weigh-in and start vying for a share in the market for safer alternatives.

 What does this mean? It means that the United States has basically no protection for consumers in terms of textiles.

HERE’S WHAT PARENTS CAN DO:

1.Just say no to sandals, shoes, boots or raingear made entirely or predominantly from rubber- or plastic-like materials. Keep an eye out when shopping for shoes treated with anti-microbial chemicals.

2.Rid wardrobes of garments screen printed with plastisol, the thick, rubbery material used to create slightly raised designs and logos.

3.Don’t purchase clothing promising stain-resistant, waterproof, or odor-fighting performance, technologies which utilize toxic chemicals.

4.Steer clear of polyester, which frequently contains traces of antimony.

5.Stick to natural fiber clothing, preferably organic.

6.Select clothing manufactured in the U.S. and Europe where regulations are generally stricter.

7.Don’t add insult to injury. Wash clothing in plant-based detergent without synthetic fragrance, which can contain hormone disrupting chemicals. And skip the fragrant dryer sheets.

 References:

http://www.ewg.org/enviroblog/2007/06/ask-ewg-why-there-teflon-clothes-it-safe

https://oecotextiles.wordpress.com/ “Killer Clothes” written by Anna Maria Clement, PhD, NMD, LN and Brian R. Clement, PhD, NMD, LN

https://www.cancerdefeated.com

Image Courtesy : https://www.greenamerica.org/blognews/how-toxic-your-closet

PLASTIC IS PILING UP

50% of plastic is used once then thrown away


This article was originally published by Yale Environment 360 (Katz, Cheryl, “Piling Up: How China’s Ban in Importing Waste has Stalled Global Recycling”, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, March 7, 2019).  We are reprinting here for our readers

it has been more than a year since China jammed the works of recycling programs around the world by essentially shutting down what had been the industry’s biggest market. China’s “National Sword” policy, enacted in January 2018, banned the import of most plastics and other materials headed for that nation’s recycling processors, which had handled nearly half of the world’s recyclable waste for the past quarter century. The move was an effort to halt a deluge of soiled and contaminated materials that was overwhelming Chinese processing facilities and leaving the country with yet another environmental problem — and this one not of its own making.

In the year since, China’s plastics imports have plummeted by 99 percent, leading to a major global shift in where and how materials tossed in the recycling bin are being processed. While the glut of plastics is the main concern, China’s imports of mixed paper have also dropped by a third. Recycled aluminum and glass are less affected by the ban.

Globally more plastics are now ending up in landfills, incinerators, or likely littering the environment as rising costs to haul away recyclable materials increasingly render the practice unprofitable. In England, more than half-a-million more tons of plastics and other household garbage were burned last year. Australia’s recycling industry is facing a crisis as the country struggles to handle the 1.3 million-ton stockpile of recyclable waste it had previously shipped to China.

Across the United States, local governments and recycling processors are scrambling to find new markets. Communities from Douglas County, Oregon to Hancock, Maine, have curtailed collections or halted their recycling programs entirely, which means that many residents are simply tossing plastic and paper into the trash.

Some communities, like Minneapolis, stopped accepting black plastics and rigid #6 plastics like disposable cups. Others, like Philadelphia, are now burning the bulk of their recyclables at a waste-to-energy plant, raising concerns about air pollution. Even before China’s ban, only 9 percent of discarded plastics were being recycled, while 12 percent were burned. The rest were buried in landfills or simply dumped and left to wash into rivers and oceans.

Without China to process plastic bottles, packaging, and food containers — not to mention industrial and other plastic waste — experts warn it will exacerbate the already massive waste problem posed by our throwaway culture.

The planet’s load of nearly indestructible plastics — more than 8 billion tons have been produced worldwide over the past six decades — continues to grow. “Already, we’ve been seeing evidence in the past year of the accumulation of plastic waste in countries that are dependent on exporting,” says the University of Georgia’s Amy Brooks, a Ph.D. student in engineering and lead author of a recent study on the impacts of China’s import ban. “We’ve seen increased cost to consumers, closure of recycling facilities, and ultimately decreased plastic waste diversion.”

The recycling crisis triggered by China’s ban could have an upside, experts say, if it leads to better solutions for managing the world’s waste, such as expanding processing capacities in North America and Europe, and spurring manufacturers to make their products more easily recyclable. Above all, experts say it should be a wake-up call to the world on the need to sharply cut down on single-use plastics.

Over the coming decade, as many as 111 million tons of plastics will have to find a new place to be processed or otherwise disposed of as a result of China’s ban, according to Brooks and University of Georgia engineering professor Jenna Jambeck. However, the places trying to take up some of the slack in 2018 tended to be lower-income countries, primarily in Southeast Asia, many of which lack the infrastructure to properly handle recyclables. Many of those countries were quickly overwhelmed by the volume and have also now cut back on imports.

Prior to China’s ban, 95 percent of the plastics collected for recycling in the European Union and 70 percent in the U.S. were sold and shipped to Chinese processors. There, they were turned into forms to be repurposed by plastic manufacturers. Favorable rates for shipping in cargo vessels that carried Chinese consumer goods abroad and would otherwise return to China empty, coupled with the country’s low labor costs and high demand for recycled materials, made the practice profitable.

“Everyone was sending their materials to China because their contamination standard was low and their pricing was very competitive,” says Johnny Duong, acting chief operating officer of California Waste Solutions, which handles recycling for Oakland and San Jose. Like most municipal recycling programs, those cities contract with Duong’s company to collect and sort recyclable waste at its materials recovery facility, where they are baled and sent to end-market processors. Before the ban, Duong says, his company sold around 70 percent of its recyclables to China. Now, that has fallen to near zero.

China’s action came after many recycling programs had transitioned from requiring consumers to separate paper, plastics, cans, and bottles to today’s more common “single stream,” where it all goes into the same blue bin. As a result, contamination from food and waste has risen, leaving significant amounts unusable. In addition, plastic packaging has become increasingly complex, with colors, additives, and multilayer, mixed compositions making it ever more difficult to recycle. China has now cut off imports of all but the cleanest and highest-grade materials — imposing a 99.5 percent purity standard that most exporters found all-but impossible to meet.

“All recyclable plastics from municipal recycling programs have been pretty much banned,” says Anne Germain, vice president of technical and regulatory affairs for the U.S. trade group National Waste and Recycling Association. “It’s had a tremendous impact. Costs associated with recycling are up, revenue associated with recycling is down. And that’s not turning around in the next few weeks.”

The U.S. and Europe, where many cities have longstanding recycling collection programs, have been especially hard-hit. Decades of reliance on China had stifled development of domestic markets and infrastructure. “There are just not very easy or cost-effective options for dealing with it now,” says Brooks. “So if nothing is done to ensure efficient management of plastic waste, the cost-effective option is to send it to landfills or incineration.”

In the U.S., small town and rural recycling operations have been hit the hardest. While most continue to operate, rising costs and falling incomes are forcing some, like Kingsport, Tennessee to shut down. Others, like Phenix City, Alabama, have stopped accepting all plastics. Places like Deltona, Florida suspended curbside pickup. Residents in municipalities like these now must travel to collection points in sometimes distant locations if they want to recycle. Some are inevitably tossing their recyclables in the trash instead.

Most larger cities — such as New York, San Francisco, and Portland, Oregon — have been able to either find alternative markets or improve and expand their municipal operations to process higher-quality and more marketable materials. But many have had to make changes, including dropping some harder-to-recycle materials from their programs. Sacramento, California, for instance, halted collections of plastics labeled #4 through #7 for several months last year at the city waste operator’s request. Residents were told to discard those items in their household garbage.

“That was a real eye opener for a lot of folks who love to feel good about putting their recycling in their blue bin and then it magically turns into something else,” says Erin Treadwell, community outreach manager for Sacramento Public Works. “We wish it was that easy.” Collection there resumed in November after a public education campaign on how households should clean and sort their recyclables.

In Philadelphia last year, when the city’s waste contractor demanded higher fees for collecting and processing recycled materials, the city sent half its recyclables to a waste-to-energy plant, where they were burned to generate electricity; the rest went to an interim contractor.

Incineration is on the rise in parts of Europe, as well. In England, nearly 11 million tons of waste were burned at waste-to-energy plants last year, up 665,000 tons from the previous fiscal year. The facilities are designed to contain emissions, and the practice has strong proponents for and against among environmentalists and scientists. However, a recent study by the non-profit Zero Waste Europe found that even the most state-of-the-art incinerators can emit dioxins and other harmful pollutants.

European nations that had exported most of their recyclables to China have faced growing piles of low-quality plastic scrap, causing “a congestion of the whole system,” says Chaim Waibel, advisor for the industry association Plastics Recyclers Europe. The displaced European plastic was mostly diverted to Indonesia, Turkey, India, Malaysia, and Vietnam, Waibel says.

A variety of new policies aimed at reducing plastic waste are also in the works. The European Parliament recently approved a ban on single-use plastics, including plastic cutlery, straws, and drink-stirrers. Several North American cities, including Seattle and Vancouver, and companies like Starbucks and American Airlines have taken similar actions. And many places around the world now restrict plastic shopping bags.

“Reducing the amount of waste we generate in the first place is the most important thing we can do,” says Lance Klug, information officer for California’s Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery. The agency has been working with manufacturers for the past decade to reduce the discarded packaging that makes up about a quarter of what’s in the state’s landfills, he says, adding, “We’re trying to get industry more involved in the end-of-life disposition of their products.”

Britain is planning to tax manufacturers of plastic packaging with less than 30 percent recycled materials. And Norway recently adopted a system in which single-use plastic bottle-makers pay an “environmental levy” that declines as the return rate for their products rises. The bottles must be designed for easy recycling, with no toxic additives, only clear or blue color, and water-soluble labels.

One year on, China’s National Sword policy is proving to be double-edged — both sparking chaos and drawing overdue attention to the way the world deals with its waste.

“The collect-sort-export model, with some domestic manufacturing, worked for us for a long time when markets for recycled materials were good, particularly in China,” says Klug. “But that’s no longer the case and it’s probably never going to be the case again.”

FASHION FOR PEACE

There is no beauty in finest cloth if it makes hunger and unhappiness -Mahatma Gandhi


 

Question to ask is; Can a piece of cloth be violent and bring unhappiness and hunger? The answer is yes. 

Lets look further why:

  • Every piece of new clothing, if not made sustainably, can be the product of countless chemicals and dyes, all of which can be harmful to the earth, air, groundwater as well as the people making the clothing and even the people who try it on and then wear it. This kind of piece of cloth is violent towards planet earth.
  • Every piece of new clothing, if made as a part of fast fashion, so that consumer can buy cheaper and as a result buy more will lead to a tremendous pressure on manufacturer to cut cost by paying low wages. This in result brings unhappiness. Better margin for factory can lead to better pay for the workers.
  • Every piece of new clothing, if made in a sweatshop, where hours are long and wages are pitiful, working conditions are bad , will lead to poverty and unhappiness.                  

How does this affect us and our buying choices as a consumer? If we knew, the shirt we are going to buy is made in a sweatshop, it is quite likely we might decline it. After all, we don’t want to wear something which has hurt someone while its manufacturing process. I think, however beautiful a garment might look, it is not worth if it is made in a sweat shop.

As Mahatma Gandhi rightly said “There is no beauty in finest cloth of it makes hunger and unhappiness”. I think, anyone would gladly offer 50cents or a dollar more on a piece of garment if they are assured that the money would go to improve the living wage of the workers who made those clothes for us, instead of adding it to the profits of retailers or manufacturers.

Is there anything we can do to help the workers who made our clothes on other side of the world? Yes, we can. Ask the retailer to publish minimum wage paid on every style they sell, on their website. Even better: ask the retailers and importers to print he minimum wage paid for a garment on the label or tag, of every garment sold. If you are thinking this is not possible then read this. You might have underestimated YOUR (consumer’s) power.

In February 2019 ISHA hosted Fashion For Peace at New York Fashion Week, an event inspired by Sadhguru’s vision to lead a global shift back to natural and organic fibers and handmade textiles.

The Isha Foundation, a non-profit organisation founded by Vasudev, has worked on curating over a hundred Indian textiles that have been a part of India’s design vocabulary for nearly 5,000 years. Each of the participating designers worked on creating exclusive looks that will champion the weaves. The presentation was produced by People’s Revolution along with the students of the High School of Art and Design, a New York City public school that aims towards educating and inspiring gifted students to become artists.

Four leading-edge fashion designers collaborated in the event: Norma Kamali, Maya Hoffman, Sabyasachi Mukherjee and Mimi Prober. Using a selection of rare Indian weaves and fabrics curated by Sadhguru, each designer created exclusive looks to illustrate the exceptional beauty of natural and handmade fabrics.

This first-of-its-kind event drew a large attendance to view the work of the designers and to hear Sadhguru explain how as human beings we must transform the way we clothe ourselves – with natural fiber and handmade craft used in our clothing, it impacts and improves the lives of millions while also addressing the toxic pollution caused by the production of and growing dependence on synthetic textiles.

Sadhguru spoke about the big picture of our environment, health and overall wellbeing of the planet, pointing out how food, agriculture, housing, economics and now even clothing have become violent. The pollution caused by the textile industry, and how the microfibers of synthetic fabrics have made their way into the oceans and waterways, working their way up the food chain and into our bodies. 

So what are natural fibers and what happens if we start wearing natural fibre made clothes?

Natural fibers can be defined as bio-based fibers or fibers from vegetable and animal origin. This includes all natural cellulosic fibers like cotton, jute, sisal, coir, flax, hemp, abaca, ramie, etc. and protein based fibers such as wool and silk.

Natural fibers are a healthy choice

Most people know natural fibers provide natural ventilation. That is why a cotton T-shirt feels so comfortable on a hot day – and why sweat-suits used for weight reduction are 100% synthetic. Wool garments act as insulators against both cold and heat – Bedouins wear thin wool to keep themselves cool. Coconut fibers used in mattresses have natural resistance to fungus and mites. Hemp fiber has antibacterial properties, and studies show that linen is the most hygienic textile for hospital bed sheets.

Natural fibers are a responsible choice

Natural fibers are of major economic importance to many developing countries and vital to the livelihoods and food security of millions of small-scale farmers and processors. They include 10 million people in the cotton sector in West and Central Africa, 4 million small-scale jute farmers in Bangladesh and India, one million silk industry workers in China, and 120 000 alpaca herding families in the Andes. By choosing natural fibers we boost the sector’s contribution to economic growth and help fight hunger and rural poverty. 

Natural fires are a sustainable choice

The emerging “green” economy is based on energy efficiency, renewable feed stocks in polymer products, industrial processes that reduce carbon emissions and recyclable materials. Natural fibers are a renewable resource. Growing one ton of jute fiber requires less than 10% of the energy used for the production of polypropylene. Natural fibers are carbon neutral. Processing produces residues that can be used in bio composites for building houses or to generate electricity. At the end of their life cycle, natural fibers are 100% biodegradable. 

Natural fibers are a high-tech choice

Natural fibers have good mechanical strength, low weight and low cost. That has made them particularly attractive to the automobile industry. In Europe, car makers are using an estimated 80 000 tons of natural fibers a year to reinforce thermoplastic panels. India has developed composite boards made from coconut fiber that are more resistant to rotting than teak. Brazil is making roofing material reinforced with sisal. In Europe, hemp wastes are used in cement, and China used hemp-based construction materials in the past.

There is a pressing need to transform the way clothes are made. Eliminating wasteful practices, reducing electricity, water and chemicals consumption can have a positive impact on our and planet earth’s health and wellbeing. Choice of our clothes has impact on environment therefore making intelligent and thoughtful buying decisions can help to create clothing with minimal negative impacts upon the environment, animals and human welfare

References:

https://isha.sadhguru.org/us/en/blog/article/fashion-for-peace-newyork-fashion-week-event-highlights

http://www.wildfibres.co.uk/

http://www.naturalfibres2009.org/

http://www.globalexchange.org/fairtrade/sweatfree/faq

 

5 BENEFITS OF ORGANIC COTTON CLOTHES

We need to take responsibility for our personal health and safety, as well as for the health of the people in our lives that depend on us for guidance the exercise of good judgment.

That starts with taking care of our body. As Jim Rohn once said “Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” The best way to take care of our body is eating right food, having enough sleep and exercising.

This is a well-known fact and taking these three basic steps can keep us healthy. But there are other factors that can cause harm to our health, if ignored. Like working in a toxic environment or wearing harmful chemical coated clothes.

How we eat is how we live and how we wear is how we look. But there is more to it. Empowering ourselves with information about how to make right buying decision is the first step forward to a healthy lifestyle. This is true for food as well as clothes, home furnishing, upholstery and cosmetics. After all, these things surround us all day. Why not make them worth for us?

Lets talk about cotton. At a production rate of 25 million tons a year, cotton is one of the top four GMO crops in the world—and nearly 95 percent of that global cotton production is GMO and/or conventionally grown. Cotton earned the title “dirtiest crop” because it’s sprayed with some of the worst pesticides, including: Bayer’s aldicarb, which was banned in the U.S. in 2010, but reapproved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2016; Syngenta’s paraquat, a highly toxic pesticide banned in the European Union but not in the U.S.; and Monsanto’s glyphosate, classified by the World Health Organization as a “probable” human carcinogen.

Those and other toxic chemicals associated with cotton production pollute waterways and damage the health of farmworkers. They also contaminate consumer products. GMO cotton isn’t just used to make clothes, bedding, towels and other textile products. Cottonseed oil and other cotton crop waste products also end up in hundreds of processed foods.

The best way to avoid GMO cotton textiles? Buy certified organic. Here are nine reasons to choose organic clothing, bedding and other products:

1. Protect the oceans from microfiber pollution Conventional cotton used for clothing and textiles is usually combined with synthetic fabrics such as acrylic, fleece and polyester. Research shows that during washing, these synthetic fibers are released into our waterways, in the form of microfibers. The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources estimates that around 1.7 million tons of microfibers enter the ocean each year, threatening marine species and sensitive coral reef ecosystems. Don’t want to contribute to the problem? Avoid synthetic fabrics altogether, including conventional cotton blends. Instead, choose clothing and textiles made from 100 percent pure and organic cotto

2. Reduce your exposure to hazardous insecticides and pesticides Conventionally grown GMO cotton is one of the most toxic crops in the world. It makes up only 2.5 percent of global cropland, and yet it accounts for up to 25 percent of the world’s use of insecticides. In addition to being responsible for the use of toxic chemicals such as aldicarb and paraquat, GMO cotton is sprayed with large amounts of Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide. Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, was classified as “probably carcinogenic to human,” by the World Health Organization. Glyphosate has been linked to metabolic syndrome, obesity, Type 2 Diabetes, cancer and depression. Organic cotton farmers use only organic-approved fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides from plants, animals and minerals to prevent pests and diseases. This slashes your risk of health issues, while also protecting farmworkers and reducing environmental pollution.

3. Conserve global water and energy resources It takes 1,800 gallons of water to produce enough cotton for a pair of jeans. In fact, the water needs of cotton are so high that cotton production has contributed to the draining of the Aral Sea in Central Asia. Organic cotton has a much lower environmental footprint. Production of organic cotton takes 71 percent less water and 62 percent less energy than production of conventional GMO cotton.

4. Reduce your exposure to harsh chemicals used in the cotton manufacturing process A variety of toxic chemicals are used in the manufacture of conventional cotton clothing, depending on where the garments are made and what characteristics the manufacturer wants to achieve. For example, “easy care” garments that are marketed as antimicrobial, anti-odor and anti-wrinkle may be saturated in formaldehyde. Other chemicals used in the production of conventional cotton garments include chlorine bleach, ammonia, heavy metals and phthalates, a known endocrine disruptor. Azo-aniline dyes are also commonly used. These dyes can cause mild to severe skin irritations, especially where there is friction between your skin and the fabric. Organic cotton products don’t use any of these chemicals, and use only low-impact and fiber-reactive dyes to get a lasting color

5. Help provide better working conditions for cotton farmers The conventional cotton industry has been linked to numerous human rights violations. In Uzbekistan, Environmental Justice Foundation found widespread environmental and human right abuses in the cotton industry, including state-sponsored forced child labor. One-third of the Uzbekistan population works for the government-owned cotton industry. Workers have no access to protective gear or even a clean source of drinking water. Buying products made of organic cotton promotes a safer work conditions for cotton farmers, by eliminating workers’ exposure to dangerous chemicals.

Resources: https://www.organicconsumers.org/blog/why-buy-organic-cotton

Call to Action


“Because normal human activity is worse for nature than the greatest nuclear accident in history.” ― Martin Cruz Smith  


The clothing and textile industry offers style and functionality. It sells dreams and provides a stage for self-expression. But the industry produces an environmental impact which is far from sustainable. Looking at the environmental challenges in this sector, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) is asking: How will fashion brands fulfil customers’ dreams in the future while contributing to the well-being of society and the environment at large?

[About WWF – For nearly 60 years, WWF has been protecting the future of nature. The world’s leading conservation organization, WWF works in 100 countries and is supported by more than one million members in the United States and close to five million globally. WWF’s unique way of working combines global reach with a foundation in science, involves action at every level from local to global, and ensures the delivery of innovative solutions that meet the needs of both people and nature]

Doing ‘business as usual’ will not be an option for the industry nor for the planet in the long run. To stay financially successful, companies will find it necessary to reduce their environmental impact and to respect the ecological boundaries of our planet. WWF’s vision is that the clothing and textile industry contributes to a world in which humans live in harmony with nature. There is a long way to go to make this vision come true, but WWF believes it to be possible, if the industry takes bold action and leadership for transformation.

The clothing and textile industry has an ecological footprint which is far from sustainable. The industry emits 1.7 billion tons of CO2 annually, is responsible for extensive water use and pollution, and produces 2.1 billion tons of waste annually, to name just a few aspects.

Global consumption of clothes doubled between 2000 and 2014. Today, on a global average, every person buys 5kg of clothes per year, but in Europe and the USA the figure is as high as 16kg. Overall apparel consumption is projected to rise even further, from 62 million tons in 2015 to 102 million tons in 2030. This projected increase in global fashion consumption will create further environmental stress and risks.4

Environmental impacts should furthermore be of financial concern to brands. A recent study by the Boston Consulting Group indicates that brands’ profit margins could fall by at least 3 percentage points by 2030 due to rising costs for labor, raw materials and energy, if companies continue with business as usual. This would add up to approximately €45 billion per year of lost profits for the

The clothing and textile sector faces many sustainability issues along the supply chain. The four most pressing environmental impacts energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, water use, pollution through chemicals and micro plastics, and waste are described in more detail below.

Energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. According to estimates, the clothing and textile industry emits 1.7 billion tons of CO2 annually and is therefore a significant contributor to global warming. This contribution to global GHG emissions is alarming, particularly when taking into account that the level of atmospheric CO2 already today exceeds the safe human operating space by 20 per cent.

Water use, water quality and water basin risks. The clothing and textile industry uses high volumes of water, particularly in raw material production like cotton growing, in dyeing and wet processing stages, and during the use phase by consumers. It is estimated that growing one kilogram of cotton needs up to 20,000 liters of water, depending where and how it is grown. The World Bank estimates that 20 per cent of industrial water pollution comes from textile dying and treatment. Water use and pollution lead to increased environmental stress at the water basin level, particularly in apparel producer countries.

Use of chemicals and micro plastics. The production of fabrics requires different kinds of harmful chemicals, which can be toxic and cause damage to the environment as well as the workforce. Chemicals are used throughout the apparel supply chain both in natural fiber production (pesticides) and in the production of final garments (e.g. dyes and colorants, detergents, water or stain repellents, performance enhancing coatings, fire retardants). Conventional cotton accounts for 24 per cent of global sales of insecticides and 11 per cent of all pesticides. Clothing made from polyester poses an as yet unknown threat to the oceans and eventually to the planet. When washing these clothes, micro plastic fibers are released, which find their way to the oceans.

Waste. Currently 80 per cent of all clothing produced ends up in incinerators or landfill, and only 20 per cent is recycled. The US Environmental Protection Agency estimates that textile waste occupies nearly 5 per cent of all landfill space. However, one challenge is that, globally, collection rates for clothes are very low. Germany outperforms most countries in recycling by collecting almost 75 per cent of all used clothing. But elsewhere the collection rates are far lower: 15 per cent in the United States, 12 per cent in Japan and 10 per cent in China.

What can consumer do? Call to Action:-

Buy organic and green. There are several standards and labels in the clothing and textile industry. WWF particularly recommends buying sustainable cotton, including organic cotton, Fairtrade cotton, Cotton made in Africa and Better Cotton. You can check WWF’s sustainable cotton ranking or siegelklarheit.de for more information on sustainable labels and standards. Swiss and international brands and retailers such as Coop, Migros and H&M, but also smaller companies, offer their own branded ecological collections, and there are other companies that make being green a central part of their business. The website Getchanged.net reveals a large collection of fashion brands that produce according to high ecological standards.

Buy wisely. If you buy new clothes, prefer high-quality basics made by responsible brands. You can mix these basics with your swapped, rented or second-hand accessories and fashion items. Consider that trends usually do not last that long, and question whether you must follow all trends.

Address the topic with your friends and colleagues. Inform your colleagues about the negative impact of clothing and textile companies on the environment and discuss potential solutions and actions you can take.

Contact your preferred fashion brand. Send companies your positive or negative feedback on their sustainability performance. If your preferred label does not provide green collections, or does not transparently communicate their environmental and social performance, voice your concern to the company.

Vote for a sustainable transformation of the economy. Particularly in a direct democracy such as Switzerland your vote for a sustainable transformation of the economy counts. WWF Switzerland regularly publishes recommendations on how to vote on certain topics, including issues such as green economy.

Support non-governmental organizations. Consider supporting the work of WWF or other NGOs engaged in the fashion industry. WWF strategically approaches the textile and other industries with the aim to move companies’ performances towards sustainability. You can support the work of WWF as a volunteer, with a donation and much more.

Read full report here

Be Kind to Planet!


“The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.” – Robert Swan, Author


“Millennials more likely than older adults to donate clothing rather than trash it”

In 2012, Americans sent more than 14 million tons of textile waste to trash dumps around the country, despite many options for consumers to repurpose or recycle textile waste, including donating old clothes to charities and recycling the materials to be remade into other products.

There are about 1,200 municipal solid waste landfills in the United States, Jon Powell, a doctoral student in chemical and environmental engineering at Yale University and an expert on landfills informs. About 900 of these have vacuum systems that collect landfill gas for burning or to produce electricity.

But a lot of landfill gas is simply vented into the atmosphere. In fact, landfills are the third-largest source of methane emissions in the U.S., according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Methane is known to be 28 times more efficient than carbon dioxide at trapping heat, Powell said. That means it poses a huge global warming problem.

Pamela Norum, professor and interim department chair of textile and apparel management at the University of Missouri, found that younger adults from ages 18-34 are much less likely to throw old clothes and other textile waste into the garbage than older adults. She also found that millennials were more likely to donate clothing to secondhand stores such as Goodwill and the Salvation Army

“It was surprising to see that older adults were less likely to donate to secondhand stores and more likely to use the trash than younger adults,” Norum said. “Baby Boomers grew up when the recycling culture was coming of age, so we thought they would be more willing to recycle their used clothes rather than throwing them in the trash. However, it was gratifying to see that younger Americans are more likely to recycle textiles; hopefully they will carry on that behavior into the future.”

For her study, Norum examined data from a 2012 survey of more than 500 U.S. consumers. Overall, she found:

  • 65 percent donated at least some clothing to charity
  • 50 percent donated to non-profit secondhand stores
  • 40 percent of Americans threw away at least some clothing
  • Consumers 55 years and older were more likely to donate to charities than millennials

Norum also found consumers dispose of their clothes for various reasons including clothing that was out of style or the wrong size; they were running out of storage space; and clothes were old or damaged. Norum says it is important for consumers to be educated about all the possibilities for recycling and re-using old clothes, so waste can be reduced.

“Nearly all textiles can be recycled or re-used in some way, even underwear,” Norum said. “Lightly worn clothing can always be donated to charities and secondhand stores; more degraded fabrics can be cut up and made into rags or given to textile recyclers who can break down the materials and use them to manufacture new fabrics or other textile products. With all of these easy and free options for recycling, little excuse exists for throwing away clothing, especially if it is simply out of style or the wrong size. Educating Americans about these options is important to reduce waste and to prevent the needless manufacturing of additional textiles to replace materials thrown away needlessly.”

This study was published in the Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal. The MU Department of Textile and Apparel Management is housed in the College of Human and Environmental Sciences.

References:

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/03/160308134923.htm

Did you do your mandatory investment? (part 2)


Take care of your body. This is the only place you have to live – Jim Rohn


7. Preventive Care: Prevention is better than cure. Prevention in this case comes with  a health routine like exercise, nutritious diet, good sleep, lower stress levels, and regular health check-ups. Leading a healthy lifestyle has many potential long term benefits like higher motivation levels, positivity, quick thinking, endurance as well as improved performance at  work.

8. Invest in mental and spiritual health: Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.

Spiritual health and wellness involves values and beliefs that provide a purpose in our lives. Leading one to strive for a state of harmony with oneself and others while working to balance inner needs with the rest of the world.

The National Wellness Institute says spiritual wellness follows the following tenets: (a) It is better to ponder the meaning of life for ourselves and to be tolerant of the beliefs of others than to close our minds and become intolerant. (b) It is better to live each day in a way that is consistent with our values and beliefs than to do otherwise and feel untrue to ourselves.

Positive mental health allows people to: Realize their full potential, cope with the stresses of life, work productively, make meaningful contributions to their communities. Ways to maintain positive mental health include: Connecting with others, staying positive, getting physically active, helping others, getting enough sleep, developing coping skills

Read here how a mental health diagnosis can be empowering 

9. Good friends are good for your health: Invest time with good friends. Good friends are good for your health. Friends can help you celebrate good times and provide support during bad times. Friends prevent loneliness and give you a chance to offer needed companionship, too. Friends can also:

  • Increase your sense of belonging and purpose
  • Boost your happiness and reduce your stress
  • Improve your self-confidence and self-worth
  • Help you cope with traumas, such as divorce, serious illness, job loss or the death of a loved one
  • Encourage you to change or avoid unhealthy lifestyle habits, such as excessive drinking or lack of exercise

Friends also play a significant role in promoting your overall health. Adults with strong social support have a reduced risk of many significant health problems, including depression, high blood pressure and an unhealthy body mass index (BMI). Studies have even found that older adults with a rich social life are likely to live longer than their peers with fewer connections.

10. Manage Your Stress: Invest in stress management. Stress is become a part of life today. Excess stress is harmful. Stress occurs when you perceive that demands placed on you — such as work, school or relationships — exceed your ability to cope. Some stress can be beneficial at times, producing a boost that provides the drive and energy to help people get through situations like exams or work deadlines. However, an extreme amount of stress can have health consequences, affecting the immune, cardiovascular and neuroendocrine and central nervous systems, and take a severe emotional toll.

Here are five healthy techniques that psychological research has shown to help reduce stress in the short- and long-term.

Take a break from the stressor.  When you give yourself permission to step away from stress, you let yourself have time to do something else, which can help you have a new perspective or practice techniques to feel less overwhelmed.

Exercise. The research keeps growing — exercise benefits your mind just as well as your body. We keep hearing about the long-term benefits of a regular exercise routine. But even a 20-minute walk, run, swim or dance session in the midst of a stressful time can give an immediate effect that can last for several hours.

Smile and laugh. Our brains are interconnected with our emotions and facial expressions. When people are stressed, they often hold a lot of the stress in their face. So laughs or smiles can help relieve some of that tension and improve the situation.

Get social support. Call a friend, send an email. When you share your concerns or feelings with another person, it does help relieve stress. But it’s important that the person whom you talk to is someone whom you trust and whom you feel can understand and validate you. If your family is a stressor, for example, it may not alleviate your stress if you share your works woes with one of them.

Meditate. Meditation and mindful prayer help the mind and body to relax and focus. Mindfulness can help people see new perspectives, develop self-compassion and forgiveness. When practicing a form of mindfulness, people can release emotions that may have been causing the body physical stress. Much like exercise, research has shown that even meditating briefly can reap immediate benefits.

11. Be kind and do random acts of kindness: Kindness increase love hormone, energy, happiness, life span, pleasure and serotonin. Kindness decreases pain, stress, anxiety, depression and  blood pressure. Read Further here

It pays to be kind: Those who are compassionate and better in-tune with other people’s emotions may be more successful at work. “People trust you more, they have better interactions with you, you even get paid better,” said Dacher Keltner, a professor at the University of California-Berkeley and co-director of the Greater Good Science Center.

“We often are pursuing our own interests most effectively by laying them aside and serving others,” says Stefan Klein in Survival of the Nicest.

Read here How to make yourself nicer

Kindness strengthens our immune system, reduces aches and pains, improves our cardiovascular profile, and boosts energy and strength in elderly people. In a 2006 study, the most loving and kind couples were shown to have the lowest levels of atherosclerosis (clogging of the arteries).

Various studies in the past 15 years have shown that regular volunteers have better health and (among the elderly and those with HIV/AIDS) a lower mortality rate.

So how often should we be out volunteering? A study by Allan Luks, famous for researching the “helpers’ high,” found that weekly volunteering makes you 10x more likely to experience health benefits than annual volunteering. Among older people ages 64-68, an Australian National University study found that we get the greatest health benefits from volunteering about 2-4 hours a week and little benefit from any time beyond that.

Even witnessing kindness might be good for us: a 1988 Harvard study found that participants who watched a 50-minute video about Mother Teresa had elevated levels of salivary immunoglobulin-A, which protects us from pathogens in food.

Invest in your health and watch it grow:

Ageing Well Chart

 

References:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/friendships/art-200

https://www.mentalhealth.gov/basics/what-is-mental-health/

https://www.jenreviews.com/mental-health-diagnosis/

Invest in your Health

 

http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/manage-stress.aspx

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/10/facts-about-being-nice_n_5791778.html

Main Image: http://www.scottwagnerchiropractic.com/invest-in-your-health-with-scott-wagner/

The benefits of kindness

Did you do your mandatory investment? (part 1)


There is no better investment than in your health – Jitin Anand


Have you made the best investment of your life yet? No? Its not too late, whatever age you might be at and whatever situation you might be in. Returns are guaranteed, 100%.

Do not just let the banks, mutual funds, bonds, stocks and real estate keep using your money. Keep some aside for the best thing in your life.  If you have this thing, you can enjoy your life with or without money. If you don’t have this thing you cannot enjoy your life, what ever money you got. The thing is your HEALTH.

Whenever you are working on the various investment options, let health be your top priority. There are lots of ways you can invest in your health. Investment is low and results are real high. No broker can do this for you, you have to plan it yourself and implement it yourself.

Good Health is the greatest blessing of life. Life is a weary burden to a person of broken health. The richest man with bad health always suffers and groans. He is unhappy despite his great wealth.

Unfortunately, today we don’t protect our health well. Not as enough as we protect our other precious things. We let thieves steal it from us, and in many cases, almost every day. Those thieves are bad lifestyle habits.

We might have good intentions to protect our health but food and chemical industry has accumulated  so much toxic around us that we keep damaging our health without even knowing.

What we can do in this scenario? I would say: Don’t be ignorant.

Everything revolves around what you eat and what is your lifestyle.

The true cost of an unhealthy lifestyle or little exercise, poor diet and smoking has been quantified by scientists who found that it can reduce lifespan by 23 years. People who develop largely preventable conditions like heart disease, stroke and type two diabetes are cutting their life short by decades, a 50 year study has shown.
It is estimated that around 80 per cent of cases could be prevented by keeping weight under control, exercising more, eating a healthy diet, and not smoking or drinking too much.
For a man in his 40s, suffering from all three conditions reduces life by 23 years. It means that a 40-year-old’s life expectancy would drop from 78 to just 55. Likewise someone in their 60s could lose 15 years, meaning a 60-year-old man might have just three years of life left.

One of our most important assets is our health. If we don’t feel well, we can’t do well. How can you expect to get the absolute most out of life if your energy levels are below average, carrying around excess fat, and feeling like complete crap? You can’t! Looking good is just a benefit. It is so much deeper than simply reaping the exterior rewards. The true benefit is what happens within us when we give our bodies the attention they need.

11 Ways to invest in your health:

  1. Invest in good food: Food is fuel for your body. It has a direct impact on how you feel as well as on your overall health. Fast food isn’t necessarily bad, but in many cases, it’s highly processed and contains large amounts of carbohydrates, added sugar, unhealthy fats, and salt (sodium).In today’s time, list of bad foods is longer than good foods. Bad food is invented every day, and quietly keep adding to the menus in restaurants and keep enticing us with flashy commercials, while we sit and relax in our living rooms.Bad food is everywhere and it is almost impossible to ignore it unless we are highly disciplined. Bad foods come with a huge advantage. Fast food industry knows it well exploit it to the fullest. Advantage: Tastes good and cheap.Well, be Confident. Don’t believe the hype. Quitting junk food is easy. Your body doesn’t need it. If it could choose, it’d go for clean foods. If you’re giving your body what it needs, you’ll be ok. If not: it’s in your head. Act. Don’t sit there waiting. If you want to change your eating habits do something about it. Go to the grocery store. Go organic. Cook your food. Prepare meals for work. Quit smoking and alcohol abuse. Your health depends on what you eat. Invest in good organic food. Eat 7 colors of different fruits and veggies everyday.
  2. Get yourself tested: Get all your tests done. Cholesterol, Sugar levels, vitamin D, vitamin B12, protein etc. Find out what is insufficient and deficient in your body and build a custom plan for what your body needs.
  3. Get educated: Once you know where your health stands only then you can start investing in your health. So invest time in educating your self about various foods and exercise programs that can help your body. Know vitamins and minerals you need. Take it from natural sources and not synthetic. Educate your self about various foods having vitamins and minerals you need.
  4. Sleep Right: Simply put, people sleep best when they sleep and rise at around the same times, whereas those with more irregular sleeping patterns can end up suffering from insomnia and other problems along those lines. Keep your room dark and cool and learn how your body can sleep best. Remember, if we live 75 years, we sleep 25 years. Magic happens when we sleep right. Body builds new cells and cures itself. Let the natural magic happen to your every night and let your body cure you.
  5. Invest in fitness: Physical inactivity has been consistently associated with an increased risk of early death, as well as being associated with a greater risk of diseases such as heart disease and cancer. For most healthy adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends these exercise guidelines:
    Aerobic activity. Get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity. The guidelines suggest that you spread out this exercise during the course of a week.
    Strength training. Do strength training exercises for all major muscle groups at least two times a week. Aim to do a single set of each exercise, using a weight or resistance level heavy enough to tire your muscles after about 12 to 15 repetitions.

Sitting is new smoking. Don’t just keep sitting, even if your job is   such like. Our bodies are made to move. Keep moving.

6. Limit chemicals use and chemical abuse

  • Plastic and other Chemicals
  • The low-fat food movement and other processed, sugar-filled foods
  • Toxic mold
  • The overuse of pills
  • GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms)
  • EMFs (Electric and Magnetic fields) and Cell Phones

Our body is not a chemistry lab. Protect it from chemical filled foods and chemical abuse. Get help if you need. There is plenty available, we just have to ask for it.

References: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/expert-answers/exercise/faq-2

Fast food damage image- http://www.dailystar.co.uk/diet-fitness/531115/Fast-food-does-to-body-brain-health-effects

“Tox-Sick”, Author Suzanne Somers

Main Image: https://saltuary.com.au/invest-in-your-health/

Who decides what is Organic?


Every time you buy organic, you are persuading more farmers to grow organic- Mother Earth News


If you are buying any organic product, make sure its certified organic. Worldwide, there are different agencies certifying a product to be made organically.

Like in  USA, it not legal to sell organic food without USDA certification on it. Organic Certification allows a farm or processing facility to sell, label, and represent their products as organic. The organic brand provides consumers with more choices in the marketplace. The USDA protects consumer options by protecting the organic seal.

Any organic operation violating the USDA organic regulations faces enforcement actions, which can include financial penalties or suspension/revocation of their organic certificate.

Look for USDA mark on any organic food product you buy.

An earlier certifier was CCOF in California. The California Certified Organic Farmers group was founded in 1973 by local organic growers. CCOF continues to advocate for organic farming, and is the leading official organic certifier for the USDA. Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply has been certified by CCOF as an organic seed handler.

Oregon Tilth is another regional group that acts as a certifier for the USDA NOP.

Demeter certifies organic growers for the USDA—with an interesting addition. Demeter also certifies for biodynamic farming.

OMRI certifies farming materials

What do organic farmers use in their fields? Organic seeds, from companies like Peaceful Valley, plus farming supplies that are certified by OMRI [Organic Materials Review Institute]. Created in the late 1980s by CCOF and Oregon Tilth as a materials and testing program, OMRI is now the primary organic materials review clearinghouse in the country.

There is no doubt that by buying organic cotton clothing you are not only saving your skin from toxic chemicals present in the conventional cotton production, textiles and clothing manufacture, but also contributing in a significant way to save planet earth from the impact of widely used toxic fertilizers, pesticides, harmful dyes and chemicals for finishing fabric for making clothes.

It is important though to looks for certification marks and symbols on the clothing tags and packaging to make sure organic cotton is certified and genuinely produced. Third party certification gives us unbiased and substantive information about the environmental performance of a fabric. Each certification has a different meaning. Look for individual certification text to identify what it means.

If a garment you buy says it is made with organic cotton it means the fiber used is organic but chances are that the chemicals used in processing may contain some of the highly toxic chemicals usually found in solvents, dyestuffs, and finishes. Further while processing the product, excess chemicals were released in the effluent and are now circulating in our groundwater. It can be still made in a sweat shop where there are no fair wages and safe working conditions. So in addition to organic cotton, look for other certification which certifies that product is made with low impact dyes and chemicals.

There are various well known organizations around the world involved in organic fiber and safer textiles certifications. Look out for below symbols (remember each symbol has unique meaning):

United States Department of Agriculture, National Organic Programs a regulatory program housed within the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service. They are responsible for developing national standards for organically-produced agricultural products. These standards assure consumers that products with the USDA organic seal meet consistent, uniform standards. This means only fiber is organic. Look for below symbols for post fiber certifications. Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) may be sold as ‘organic’ in the U.S. though they may not refer to NOP certification or carry the USDA organic seal.

GOTS symbol: Product grown and processed to organic standards. Products carrying the GOTS symbol are made from organic fibers, have met strict environmental and social criteria during processing and have been certified by an independent, third party along the whole supply chain.

Standards apply to fiber products, yarns, fabrics and clothes and cover the production, processing, manufacturing, packaging, labeling, exportation, importation and distribution of all natural fiber products, GOTS provides a continuous quality control and certification system from field to shelf.  There are also social responsibility components (i.e., fair wages, no forced or bonded labor, etc.)  All parameters are listed and accessible.

The GOTS parameters for materials include prohibitions or restrictions on Aromatic solvents, Chloro Phenols (TCP, PCP), Complexing agents (APEO), Formaldehyde and short chain aldehydes, Fungicides and biocides, Halogenated solvents, Heavy metals, Ammonia treatment. There are detailed social criteria:  no forced or bonded labor; workers are not required to lodge “deposits” or identity papers with employer; no child labor; workers are free to leave after reasonable notice; working conditions are safe and hygenic. Wastewater treatment includes measurement and monitoring sediment quantities, waste water temperature and waste water pH.  Find out more about GOTS…

Soil Association symbol: Product certified to the Global Organic Textile Standard by Soil Association Certification Ltd.

The Soil Association was a founder member of GOTS and is a quarter owner of Global Standard GmbH which manages the GOTS. Soil Association is the UK’s largest organic certification body. It’s also the only certification body linked to a committed charity, promoting organic food and farming. Find out more about the Soil Association…

OneCert: This organization provides organic certification worldwide with certification and inspection programs including the US National Organic Program (NOP), European Organic Regulations, Quebec Organic Standards (CAQ), Japan Agricultural Standards (JAS), IFOAM, and Bio Suisse.

Services include organic certification, organic inspection, export certificates, transaction certificates, on-line record keeping, answers to certification questions, and presentations of organic topics.

OE100 symbol: Cotton in the product grown to organic standards. Product has been tracked and traced along the supply chain by an independent, third party.

Contains 100% certified organic cotton fiber, but hasn’t necessarily been processed to organic standards.

 Peterson Control Union:  Control Union is a global one-stop-shop for a range of services in all aspects of the logistics chain of many commodities, including certification programs.  It certifies to the standards of The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), and the Organic Exchange.

The Institute for Marketcology (IMO): IMO is one of the first and most renowned international agencies for inspection, certification and quality assurance of eco-friendly products. IMO offers certification for organic production and handling according to the EU Regulation.

  Control Union is a global one-stop-shop for a range of certification programs, including organic fibers.  It certifies to the standards of AB logo, Bio Suisse, Canada Organic Regime, EU organic, Japanese, Agricultural Standards, Naturland inspections, NPOP, Polish EU organic, USDS/NOP.

 Oeko Tex (www.oeko-tex.com):  This is important mark to look for safe textiles production. Founded to provide an objective and reliable product label for consumers and a uniform safety standard for the assessment of harmful substances in fabrics.  Its aim is to ensure products are free of harmful substances. The Oeko-Tex Standard 100 excludes harmful substances or limits their use. The following parameters form part of the Oeko-Tex list of criteria and is specifically banned AZO dyes, carcinogenic and allergy-inducing dyes, formaldehyde, pesticides, chlorinated phenols, chloro-organic benzenes and toluenes, extractable heavy metals, phthalates in baby articles, Organotin compounds (TBT and DBT), emissions of volatile components.

Resources:

http://www.ota.com/sites/default/files/indexed_files/What%20are%20Organic%20Fiber%20Products.pdf
https://oecotextiles.wordpress.com
https://www.onecert.com/
http://www.global-standard.org/

https://www.ams.usda.gov/services/organic-certificate

Main image: https://www.greens-efa.eu/en/article/news/organic-food-and-farming/

 

Would you wear fruits and veggies -2?


If you can’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin


(2/2 – This article is in two parts)

5. Fruitleather

Koen Meerkerk (23) and Hugo de Boon (23) are a Rotterdam based designer duo, recently graduated from the Willem de Kooning academy in Rotterdam. With a passion for creating value to things which have been labelled useless, the duo has placed themselves in todays circular economy. Facing and solving problems from a designer’s point of view.

These graduates of the Willem de Kooning Academie in Holland decided to collect the unsold fruit from their local farmersmarkets. They then de-seed, puree, boil and dry the fruit out into thin leather sheets. From this, they create stylish pumpkin-strawberry handbags and peach lampshades.

Farmers tend to leave up to 40% of their harvest in the fields, because it does not meet the cosmetic standards for the supermarkets. Deforestation occurs frequently so that food can be grown which does meet the needs of this cosmetic standard.
In developed countries there are different reasons why produced food for the consumer is wasted. This is often due to the fact that the consumer has bought to much, or because retailers reject the food because of its appearance. 10% of all greenhouse gasses in rich countries is emitted by producing food that will never be eaten.

Using an eco-friendly process which they developed, the discarded fruit is transformed to sheets of leather-like material. In order to really get the leather look, a final finishing is applied. The Fruitleather can be coated or embedded with a print before being applied to a large variety of products which tend to use traditional leather.
Process which involves mashing, cooking and drying, is a lot cleaner then the process that traditional leather undergoes. Using natural materials, final product is a lot less harmful to both the environment and animals.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BIFqOykgfq3/?utm_source=ig_web_button_share_sheet

6.  Nettles: For Tea and Fabric
Using nettles to make fabric is nothing new. Nettle fibers have been found in burial sites in Denmark that date back to the Bronze Age. In Europe, Camira Fabrics, a textile firm in Yorkshire, is known for bringing those nettle fibers back. Thanks to a partnership with De Montfort University they worked to develop a fabric made partly with the crop that most consider a weed.

nettle fabrics

The resulting fabric is called Sting, made with 25% nettles and 75% wool and is certified 100% biodegradable. Now Camira has expanded that fabric into three different lines. While their fabrics are mainly intended for upholstery, nettle fabric has already been used in the fashion world, most notably by Dutch brand Brennels.

Bio Trimmings copy

The resulting fabric is called Sting, made with 25% nettles and 75% wool and is certified 100% biodegradable. Now Camira has expanded that fabric into three different lines. While their fabrics are mainly intended for upholstery, nettle fabric has already been used in the fashion world, most notably by Dutch brand Brennels.

7.

food and fashion

Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk, Wear It!
Around the world, over a billion tons of food gets wasted every year, which is why a lot of individuals and companies have started to take a look at how we can better put food waste to use, instead of just taking it to the landfill. Germany’s QMilk targeted milk, not the drinkable stuff, but the milk that has gone off and gets tossed in the trash instead. In Germany alone, almost 2 million tons of milk is thrown out. Developing a biopolymer from the milk protein casein, QMilk makes both a fabric, which has a silky feel and is 100% biodegradable, as well as a line of natural cosmetics from its bioplastic.

8.  Orange Fiber

Another juicy start-up can be found in Italy. Sicilian-born Adriana Santanocito has created a soft, sustainable textile out of citrus waste. Orange Fiber aims to put the 700,000 tons of waste created by the orange juice industry to good use.

Winner of an Ideas for Change Award from the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.  They envision a new life for these materials, transforming them into refined, ethereal fabrics perfectly suited to Italian tradition of high-quality fabrics and high fashion.

As of today, world’s first and only brand to produce a patented material from citrus juice byproducts, repurposing them to create beautiful, sensorial materials that reshape your sartorial experience.

Fabrics are formed from a silk-like cellulose yarn that can blend with other materials. When used in its purest form, the resulting 100% citrus textile features a soft and silky hand-feel, lightweight, and can be opaque or shiny according to production needs

9. Coffee Grounds:

Coffee is not just a beverage – for many of us, it’s a way of life. But the innovative team at Singtex have taken this one step further and learned how to spin coffee into cloth.

Singtex invented the S.Café® eco-friendly coffee yarn in 2008. Made from plastic bottles and coffee grounds, this green, high-tech yarn is environmentally friendly, de-odorizing, and fast drying, UV-resistant and has many different applications. When applied to textile fibers it enhances their functionality without affecting dye performance.

No solvents are used in the production process. Nor does it require the high-temperature carbonizing treatment of conventional carbonized materials. This reduces CO2 emissions by around 2.7 kg. The technology has since been recognized by the top three invention awards in the world. (Gold and Merit Award at INPEX in Pittsburg, USA; Gold medal at iENA Nuremberg; Gold and Special award at the International Exhibitions of Inventions Geneva)

Apart from the development of eco-friendly products they invested into the construction of a precision environmentally friendly dyeing center. Green construction was incorporated into plant construction to meet the requirements of environmentally friendly design from the selection of energy supply to the selection of dyes.

This series of textiles incorporate humidity regulation, odor-control, anti-UV, fast-drying and cool-wear technologies. General applications include sports clothing, outdoor recreation clothing, home clothing, casual clothing, underwear, bed ware and accessories

 

Resources:

The Project

http://orangefiber.it/en/collections/

Main image: pixabay.com

https://bkaccelerator.com/9-cool-projects-where-sustainable-food-and-fashion-come-t

Healthy Wear