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Consumer Technology

Published on November 27th, 2017 | by The Beam

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Dressing Down Dirty Fashion

Its environmental and social impact often overlooked, fashion is a multi-billion dollar global industry, and the world’s second largest polluter — second only to oil. Portrayed as glamorous on the outside, the industry, especially “fast fashion,” is dirty business. We’ve been inspired by organizations that base their entire business model on ethical and sustainable practices, from addressing the origin of materials, to providing safe and fair working conditions, and focusing on minimal environmental impact. As their initiatives inspire more and more people and companies, we can hopefully one day see dirty fashion as a thing of the past.

People Tree

As a pioneer in ethical fashion, People Tree has been a registered and highly involved member of the World Fair Trade Organization since 1996.

Apart from supporting its producers, the company promotes natural and organic cotton farming, avoids damaging chemicals in production, recycles materials, and always aims to protect water supplies and forests in the environments they work in.

The people behind People Tree believe that fashion can be used as a tool for sustainable development, protecting people and the planet.

Kitx

Kitx relies on materials that have minimal impact on the environment  — fabrics made from marine litter, organic cotton, dresses made with hemp, buttons from recycled bottles, and all of it transformed into chic, elegant pieces.

The choice of a sustainably-sourced label like Kitx instead of the usual suspects sends a message  — it’s possible to create a fashion moment while maintaining your principles.

The leather alternative made from pineapple leaves

Ananas Anam has developed Piñatex, a natural plant-based fabric made of fibers extracted from pineapple leaves, creating an alternative to leather.

The inventor of the natural and sustainable non-woven textile, Carmen Hijosa, works with her team from London while on the other side of the globe, Filipino farmers are extracting the fibers from the pineapple leaves. The fibers are then sent to a textile finishing company in Spain where the transformation from a fiber mesh into Piñatex takes place.

Providing new additional income for farmers, this is a vibrant new industry for pineapple growing countries. No extra land, water, fertilizers or pesticides are required to produce them, and last but not least, the company assures that “no pineapples are harmed in the making of Piñatex.”

Naturally-dyed chemical-free textiles

What can be more straightforward than extracting color present in the environment and putting it on cloth? Contrary to the exotic feel of the term “herbal dyeing,” the process is much simpler in its form than its synthetic counterpart.

Using organic cloth, Aura Herbal is replacing toxic synthetic dyes with herbal ingredients such as fruit peel and forest waste to dye organically grown fabric. Inspired by common practice in ancient India, the company uses only medicinally rich herbs, plant material, minerals and oils such as turmeric, myrobalan, castor oil and sea salt for dyeing fabric or yarn.

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About the Author

The Beam Magazine is a quarterly print publication that takes a modern perspective on the energy transition. From Berlin we report about the people, companies and organizations that shape our sustainable energy future around the world. The team is headed by journalist Anne-Sophie Garrigou and designer Dimitris Gkikas. The Beam works with a network of experts and contributors to cover topics from technology to art, from policy to sustainability, from VCs to cleantech start ups. Our language is energy transition and that's spoken everywhere. The Beam is already being distributed in most countries in Europe, but also in Niger, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Japan, Chile and the United States. And this is just the beginning. So stay tuned for future development and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Medium.



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