Measuring & Reducing the environmental impact of textiles

What's your impact along the supply chain?

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Step 1

Fiber Production

For any piece of apparel, the first step is to produce the fiber that is used to create the product. This could be synthetic fibers, cellulose, cotton, or other natural fibers.

Cotton is sometimes referred to as the dirtiest fiber in the world – more than 16% of global insecticides are used for its production. Growing cotton for one jeans and one t-shirt takes 20.000 liters of water.

Organic cotton and other natural fibers might be a solution, but they account for less than 1% of global cotton industry.

cotton

Step 1

Step 2

Yarn Preparation

Processing the raw fibers to yarn is a process that requires a lot of energy. A lot of different machines are involved to process the unstable, irregular fibers and filament to a durable yarn.

 

yarn

Step 2

Step 3

Fabric Production

The knitting and weaving of yarn into fabric is a step in the production chain that takes a comparably little amount of energy. However, almost 10% of the impact of the apparel industry occurs by producing the fabric.

 

yarn

Step 3

Step 4

Dyeing & Finishing

Dyeing and finishing accounts for more than a quarter of the footprint of the apparel industry. It is the most energy intensive stage, as dyeing has a high energy demand due to wet processes which require large amounts of heated water. Many chemicals, such as bleach, are used in this step.

 

yarn

Step 4

Step 5

Assembly

Assembling apparel accounts for only 5% of the footprint of the apparel industry. It is labor intensive, but a lot of the labor is still conducted manually, and the energy requirements of the machines are more moderate. However, the social implications of manufacturing clothing are a prominent subject of dispute.

 

assembly

Step 5

Step 6

Distribution

The distribution and retail of the clothing we wear accounts only for 1% of the total footprint.

 

Distribution

Step 6

Step 7

Use Phase

The consumer use phase is where the product is handled, washed, repaired, and possibly passed on. The magnitude of this phase’s impact involves assumptions about consumer behaviors, which vary widely in the real world. The main drivers are the energy and water consumption from washing, as well as energy-intensive drying.

 

Use Phase

Step 7

This Dutch fashion brand is leading the way

»We started with a "box of data". But Ecochain helped us turn it into a story that helps us connect with our customers.«
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Sustainability in Textiles

Green fashion starts with controlling your supply chain.

Analyze the environmental impact of your supply chain and find key levers to make your business more sustainable. Convince conscious customers with transparency and a sustainable advantage.
Sustainability In Textile & Fashion
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  4. Receive easy and self-explanatory templates to prepare the company data. Kick-off meeting with Ecochain specialists.
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