How is the environmental movement is impacting the clothing and textile industry?

Good day,

Thank you for submitting your inquiry. We have several reports about the clothing and textile industry. There were two main reports that contained a bounty of information on this topic.

Report 1: Roadmaps toward the future bioeconomy, Pulp Mill in Sweden, January 2015

This report states that alternatives to cotton and oil-based textiles with low environment impact are in high demand because there are consumer expectations of environmental sustainability.  As a result new products have been found and some are being sourced from places like the Swedish forest industry.  Other sustainable textile initiatives include a new closed-cycle process that produces cellulose to be used a raw material for textile fiber.  This process would replace the carbon disulfide process and reduce environmental impact.  This new demand will create jobs in the rural areas of Europe where the pulp mills are located.

The following report also supports this fact that there is a moral issue with regard to the levels of water used and waste water produced during the wet processing of fibers (Moral Issues in Textile Production, January 2014).

Report 2:  Fibershed Feasibility Study for a California Wool Mill, February 2014

This report discusses how carbon regulation has given rise to a demand for sustainable textiles.

“This leads to high resource prices and greater regionalization and vertical integration as business seeks to find and secure low-carbon, local sources of materials as an alternative to vast global supply chains (Forum For the Future, 2013)” (pg 24).

— Fibershed Feasibility Study for a California Wool Mill, February 2014

Consumers want transparency of the supply chain even from apparel brands.  Factory disasters in Bangladesh has erupted this concern.

“John Anderson, past president and chief executive officer of Levi Strauss & Co., succinctly states: “For the fashion industry to be sustainable economically, it must be sustainable socially and environmentally too” (pg 24).

— Fibershed Feasibility Study for a California Wool Mill, February 2014

Sustainable lifestyle consumers make up 30% (and growing) of all US households.  There is more discussion on the market size of households who spend money on products that benefit the environment, health and sustainable living.

Resultantly, wool has become a popular commodity because of its low environmental impact with a resurgence of demand over the past few decades. The growing revenues of companies such as Smartwool, which grew at 20-30% per year, and Ibex are highlighted. One wool garment can sequester 37 kg in CO2.

I hope you find this useful, and can see that there is a lot of useful information available through the portal about the clothing and textile industry. If you have any additional needs or questions about our reports, please feel free to contact us.