The fashion industry is one of the major environmental influencers, and therefore there is a great deal of work going into the process of establishing sustainable alternatives to conventional production.
The production chain and the impact of the various processes on the environment may seem complex and therefore the following infographic is one of the better we have encountered:
-from fibre to yarn to fabrics to clothing and to end consumers...
The chain illustrates the various areas for action that can be worked with, including the part that rests with end users - ie. all of us ... caring for the environment also includes our own decisions in the wardrobe.
At AWIIYA we are especially concerned with the production of raw materials, fibers and fabrics. The figure is thus suitable for illustrating the variety of certificates and labeling schemes in raw materials. The source of the information is Natur og Miljø, No. 1/2017.
A commodity such as cotton is for example. the most superbly sprayed crop in the world. According to the Global Organic Textile Standard (ie the organization behind GOT's standard for ecologically produced textiles), the cotton cultivation area is approximately 2.5 percent of the total cultivated areas in the world, but production consumes 16 percent of the total consumption of insecticides and 10 percent of all global sprayers.
At the same time, the internet is filled with documentaries about starving cotton farmers and child labor. WWF writes in the report 'Cleaner, Greener Cotton' on the cotton road from peasant to consumer. Here it appears that the cotton as harvested fiber costs just over five DKK per kg, while the price of the finished clothing is about 174 DKK per kg. The poor conditions of the farmers are one of the reasons why Fairtrade International introduced a standard for cotton production about 10 years ago, so cotton farmers get better terms (Fairtrade Cotton).
The same thing applies to 'Better Cotton Initiative', which is widely accepted and makes it possible to charge prices that do not differ significantly from plain cotton. It provides measurable and useful results with reduced pesticide consumption, reduced water consumption and better yield to farmers.