NEWS: Textile Sustainability & Fashionable Tech
Three articles this week caught my attention regarding the waste of textile/ clothing production and a different perspective on wearable technology:
Van Herpen, meanwhile, rejects the notion that the cross-pollination of fashion and technology must yield utilitarian results. “I have always had the fascination to work with materials that I cannot control, like water or air or energy,” she tells me in her lilting English, sounding like Glinda the Good Witch after two semesters of art school. “For me, technology is not an inspiration and it’s not a goal, it’s just a tool,” she continues. Van Herpen believes there is a lot of potential in wearable technology, but, she says, “It’s not fashion yet.” (Video).
Up to 3,500 chemical substances are used to turn raw materials into textiles. Approximately 10 percent of these are hazardous to human health or the environment. It takes around 7,000 litres of water to produce a single pair of jeans — most of which is tainted by chemicals during production and eventually disposed of into our waterways. The result is public water systems laced with chemicals like PFCs, which can accumulate in human tissue; NPs, which mimic oestrogen and cause the feminisation of fish; and phthalates, which, though banned in the EU, are widely used in the global production of our clothes.
Brands have the power to drive change from the tail end of the supply chain and force suppliers to publicly report how much and what type of pollution they are discharging. ( Valentino, Burberry, Marks & Spencer andH&M, have begun to eliminate toxic chemicals from their supply chains)
Since its launch July 2011, the Detox campaign has mobilised hundreds of thousands of people around the world to challenge major clothing brands to eliminate all releases of hazardous chemicals from their supply chains and products.
So far, the campaign has been able to secure public commitments from nineteen international fashion companies: Nike, Adidas, Puma, H&M, M&S, C&A, Li-Ning, Zara,Mango, Esprit, Levi's, Uniqlo, Benetton, Victoria's Secret, G-Star Raw Valentino, Coop,Canepa, Burberry, and Primark. Brands need to have a commitment to creating toxic-free fashion on behalf of their customers, the local communities and future generations.