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“If indigo was invented today, we would never approve it.”
Andrew Olah, founder of the Kingpins denim show, and of Olah Inc., a textile marketing, development, and sales agency in the US.
Comments like this serve to demonstrate how the spotlight is now very much on the design and manufacturing of textiles and apparel in terms of sustainability.
This report is intended to explore and clarify, as much as possible, the complex and ongoing issues surrounding sustainable textiles for apparel. It will examine and compare natural, synthetic, and regenerated fibres, and many of the processes involved in their manufacture.
The hot topic of toxic chemicals used in dyeing, printing, and finishing will be investigated, along with the progress being made in eliminating them.
Textile recycling, slow fashion, and garment longevity are re-emerging as viable concepts for impacting sustainability.
Finally, we will see how the industry’s efforts to capture, measure, communicate, and improve its environmental footprint in a transparent way are leading to collaboration, innovation, and an improved bottom line.
The report includes quotes from some of the leading players spearheading activity in this area and illustrate how sustainability must go beyond corporate social responsibility studies and philanthropic efforts to focus on the impact of textiles on the environment.
At over 27,500 words, the report truly is a comprehensive look at this evocative of subjects.
Also of interest, is just-style's Hot issue: Waterless textile and garment dyeing

Table Of Contents

Sustainable Textiles for Apparel: Fact, Fiction and Future Prospects
Introduction

Chapter 1 The case for sustainable textiles
Waste and pollution
Location, location, location
Sustainable textiles and the bottom line
Patagonia
Lenzing
Unifi
Target Corporation
Beginning to see the light

Chapter 2 Nature's way
Improving cotton's sustainability
GM cotton.
Beyond organic cotton: responsible production
Cotton Made in Africa (CMiA)
Bayer e3
Sustainable Cotton Project (SCP)
The Better Cotton Initiative (BCI)
Solidaridad
CottonConnect
Cotton LEADSâ„¢
The noble naturals
Merino and organic wool
Pity the silk worm
The bast fibres
Linen flax

Chapter 3 The cotton alternative
The pros and cons of rayon
Lenzing
Lyocell, the preferred cellulosic
Bamboo-zled

Chapter 4 Synthetic pros and cons
Polypropylene
Polyester
Plastics of the future
PET recycling technology
Sustainable stretch

Chapter 5 A brave new world for fibre innovation
Improving on mother nature
Transgenic cotton
The “cottonization” of bast
CRAiLAR flax
Bioflax
Spider silk
Bio-based innovation
Ingeo
Sorona gains ground
Bio-based nylons
The LAUNCH Systems Challenge

Chapter 6 The chemical cauldron
Low-impact dyes
Waterless dyeing
Colouring the fibre
Ecological printing
Dirty denim
Indigo dyeing
Sulphur dyestuffs
Enzyme washing
Nano-bubbles
Toxic detergents
The problems with performance textiles
Eliminating PFCs
Eco-friendly biocides?
The road is long

Chapter 7 Re-thinking recycling
Closing the apparel recycling loop
Natural fibre recycling
Certifiably recycled
Considered design
Slow fashion and garment longevity

Chapter 8 Sustainability metrics, transparency, and the collaborative supply chain
Measuring what is appropriate
The Higg Index
Third party certifications
Bluesign
Oeko-Tex 100
STeP
EU Ecolabel
Organic Content Standard (OCS)
GOTS
Communicating to the consumer
A leaner, greener supply chain

List of tables
Table 1: Comparative energy consumption for spinning fibre
Table 2: Kg of CO2e per ton of spun fibre
Table 3: Energy profile for a cotton T-shirt vs. a polyester T-shirt

List of figures
Figure 1: Global fiber market 2012
Figure 2: Refined end uses per barrel of oil
Figure 3: The fiber demand - figures in millions of tons
Figure 4: Anonymous industry benchmarking

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