Published Feb 24 2009 by Energy Bulletin
Archived Feb 24 2009

Peak textiles - Feb 24

by Staff

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Sustainable fashion: will government help bin throwaway culture?

Lucy Siegle, Guardian
The only place politics and fashion used to meet was on T-shirt slogans. But now the government is planning to take a more active role in your wardrobe.

I can exclusively reveal that tomorrow the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, is using London Fashion Week as a launchpad for its new Sustainable Clothing Action Plan - not new regulations, but a series of green pledges from high street retailers.

... The big deal is the calibre of high street signatories behind the plan, many of whom have come in for environmental criticism before: ...
(19 February 2009)
Related story from the Independent: Greenwash? Maybe, but at least it is helping to highlight the environmental costs of the clothing industry. KS.

Is there a viable eco alternative to leather?

Lucy Siegle, Observer
... In some ways, the pro-leather argument mirrors the pro-fur stance, by insisting that leather is a natural material (although this is difficult to argue, given the chemical production process) and that as a byproduct of the meat industry it is somehow a sustainable material. But 90% of our leather remains of the bovine variety and as Tara Garnett of the Food Climate Research Network reveals, "global production of raw cattle hides grew 24% between 1984 and 2004 - a faster growth than the production of cattle meat, at 19% over the same period."

In any case, the byproduct argument loses its punch when you consider the environmental impact of conventional leather production, which involves a mind-boggling mix of acids, salts, fungicides and bactericides - as well as chromium, sulphides and sulphates. The result is a huge amount of water use, chromium sludge, and solid and airborne chemical waste. The bulk of leather processing has been outsourced to developing countries, where, according to critics, it's difficult to monitor standards.
(15 February 2009)

Relocalizing clothing in North Carolina

Morgan Josey Glover, goGreenTriad
In a still dominant age of globalization and cheap labor, the idea of expecting North Carolinians to buy shirts sourced and produced entirely within their own state sounds like a surefire way to go out of business.

But the leaders of TS Designs in Burlington hope a new line of shirts "grown, made and sold here" will attract customers who are willing to pay extra for a product that supports more regional workers and has a smaller carbon footprint than conventional cotton shirts manufactured overseas.

"The exciting thing about it to me is the ability to connect with everybody in the supply chain," said Eric Henry, the company's president. "That connection has been very successful in the Slow Food movement and we want the same thing in apparel."
(12 February 2009)