This is a common question. How do I know if this material is really recycled?
How do I know it doesn’t have more chemicals in it then regular material?
How do I know it was made in a way that caused less harm to the environment then regular material?
Many don’t know that the fashion industry is the second largest consumer of fresh water and is responsible for 8%-10% of global carbon emissions. An example I read was that it would take 13 years to drink the water that is used to make one pair of Jeans and t-shirt. In 2015 a report called Pulse of the Fashion Industry Report said: that the fashion industry is responsible for the emission of 1,715 million tons of CO2 in 2015.
What is bizarre about doing this sort of analysis is that the fashion industry involves all the industries, Electricity (often from dirty sources like coal and diesel generators) powers the garment factories. Cotton is an agricultural product. A small portion of clothing’s journey is done by road transportation. Newly made Polyester is made from plastic, which is a petroleum product. Leather is a byproduct of livestock raised for food.
Which just reaffirms the power of fashion. If you could fix fashion’s supply chain and lower its emissions, you would be lowering the emissions of the four most polluting industries on the planet.
Other materials that contain synthetic microfibers and may contain some plastic are: almost all underwear, fleeces, blouses, socks, jeans, tights, acrylic, polyester, spandex, lycra, nylon, etc even some wool sweaters have synthetics in them so they fit nicely.
With Recycled textiles there is 85% Less Energy Consumed. 65% fewer emissions, 50% – 65% less Carbon and Sulphur Dioxide released as compared to Virgin Polyester and 90% less water consumption used compared to virgin polyester.
With a Global Recycled Standard Certificate you can be assured that the product has meet these standards.
What is Global Recycled Standard? This is what they say:
With its foundation in agriculture, Control Union Certifications has focused its efforts in developing services around the sustainability of the industry’s supply chains which feed into the food, feed, forestry, biomass, bioenergy, social compliance and textiles markets.
With ‘boots on the ground’ in more than 70 countries, Control Union Certifications is uniquely placed to manage challenges with today’s global marketplace.
Control Union Certifications has a global quality management system that is constantly reviewed, both internally and externally, by numerous national and international accreditation bodies.
Please note that in the Global Recycled Standard booklet they must meet standards on B2.2 Child Labor B2.4 Discrimination, harassment and abuse 33 B2.5 Health and safety 34 B2.6 Wages, benefits and terms of employment 35 B2.7 Working Hours C1 – Environmental Management System C1.2 Chemical Management System C2.1 Energy use C2.2 Water use C2.3 Wastewater / Effluent C2.4 Emissions to Air C2.5 Waste management D1 – GRS Chemical Management D1.1 GRS Product Chemical Management Among many other topics.
Personally I think ALL clothing companies should meet these standards as they arent regulated with their dyes and chemicals never mind their energy and fresh water wastefulness.