Make More Sustainable Denims Using Eco-friendly Materials and Practices

Posted by Sustainable Denim on Monday, October 21, 2019 0

Denim, which is further called Jeans, one of the least Eco-friendly clothing item. The book Sustainability in denim shows 1500 gallon water is required to produce 1.5 pounds of cotton that is enough to produce one pair of Jeans. Denim industry allows to grow the cotton with the use of huge amount of pesticides, insecticides and synthetic fertilizers. 

After growing the cotton it has to be dyed up the warp yarns in 12-14 indigo dye bath depending on the shade range that is consuming lot of chemicals and synthetic dyes. A wide range of dyes including sulphur is using in denim fabric production.

After making the garments it is going through washing processes that consumes another significant amount of water, most likely 70 liters for one pair of jeans. Also different kind of chemicals are being used such as potassium menganate (PP) and chlorine bleach which has high level of toxicity and harmfulness for environment and direct impact to the aquatic lives.

To get rid of this huge impact from traditional denim processing the jeans suppliers can enhance their support using Eco-friendly materials and more sustainable practices.

There are Five most effective Eco-Friendly materials for sustainable denim:

Organic Cotton: That is produced in the way of using natural, untreated and GMO free seeds with using no pesticides and synthetic dyes.

Better Cotton: Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), that ensures the cottons are growing with use of less water, pesticides, insecticides, and synthetic fertilizers.

Post Consumer Waste: PCW are cotton fiber which are extracted from used cloths, it gives less strength to the garment so no more than 20% can be used PCW in a fiber composition.

Recycle Polyester: It is made from PET bottle and good for environment as these plastic bottles are not bio degradable.

Ecovero Viscose: Produced and marketing by Lenzing which are most eco-friendly than traditional viscose.

There are Five most effective sustainable practices in Jeans production:

Use of Eco-friendly dyes and chemicals: There are so many alternatives of current dyes and chemicals that can be used in denim fabric production as well as in garment washing.

Cradle to Cradle Certified Denim: The goal is to create products that support a delightfully diverse, safe, healthy and just world, with clean energy, soil, water and air – equitably, economically, ecologically, and elegantly enjoyed.

G2 Denim  Process: This is one of the innovation of Jeanologia which is most eco efficient ozone textile technology.

Use of Ozone and Laser in denim washing: Ozone will help to skip processes like desizing and laser will curb health related issue for manual whiskering and hand scrapping to get faded look.

Rain harvesting and use of water meter: Water scarcity is increasing rapidly in the location where textile industries are functioning, to save the water rain harvesting and use of water meter can play a significant role.

To reduce the water, chemical and energy footprints the world wide reputed brands are initiating diversified methods and innovations that will help to make more sustainable denim. Such as Levi's has saved 3 billions liter of water and re cycled 2 billions liters of water so far in denim production using sustainable materials and practices. This renown brand is aiming to produce 67% of it's total apparel with less water technology by 2020. Some other reputed brands like warp+weft, outerknown S.E.A jeans, C&A, H&M, Everlane, Wrangler have also taken initiative for more sustainable denims. 

This huge impact is not preventing anyone to purchase denims as it is for all ages, professionals, styles and income levels. Jeans are considered as the cornerstone of every wardrobe.  But as a consumer we should help our environment through giving focus on purchasing from brands who cares about environment.

About the Author

Md. Firoz Kabir(M.Sc in Textile Engineering)

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