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A Conversation with LaRhea Pepper, an Organic Cotton Farmer and Managing Director of Textile Exchange

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INTERVIEW: LARHEA PEPPER

ORGANIC COTTON FARMER & MANAGING DIRECTOR OF TEXTILE EXCHANGE

Source: truecostmovie.com
Source: truecostmovie.com

LaRhea Pepper is a cotton farmer from Lubbock, Texas. She grew up farming and is a key advocate for the importance of organic farming, working to inspire and equip people to accelerate sustainable practices in textile supply chains. Her personal story is a profoundly powerful one and has impacted her passionate involvement in the field, including participating in a lawsuit against Monsanto, the agrochemical corporation.

What is your earliest memory of life on a cotton farm?

Growing up on the farm, I remember just walking out and checking on the cotton. I love the smell of freshly plowed dirt. I remember going out to see Dad as he was working. And then, as I was older, racing behind the tractor and enjoying the coolness of the field when we were planting.

Read the the full interview here – http://truecostmovie.com/larhea-pepper-interview/

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The North Face Aims to Recycle more than 100,000 lbs of Apparel and Footwear in 2015

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Clothes The Loop campaign set to hit stores and social media to divert used apparel and footwear away from landfills
Image: 3blmedia.com
Image: 3blmedia.com

Alameda, Calif., April 20, 2015 /3BL Media/ – The North Face today announced the expansion of its Clothes The Loop recycling program to all of its retail and outlet stores in the U.S. in tandem with an in-store and social media campaign to encourage consumers to recycle unwanted apparel and footwear from any brand in any condition. Clothes The Loop extends the lifecycle of apparel and footwear brought in by consumers by giving them a new life through reusing items or reverting them to basic materials used for new product manufacturing. Initially piloted at 10 The North Face retail locations in February 2013, Clothes The Loop is now available in all 83 of The North Face retail and outlet stores nationwide.

The Issue of Textile Waste

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, an estimated 24 billion pounds of post-consumer textile waste (PCTW) goes to landfills each year – the equivalent of about 70 pounds of textiles per person. This accounts for nearly 5 percent of all landfill space. And this amount is growing. Between 1999 and 2009, the volume of PCTW grew by 40 percent, while the diversion rate only increased by 2 percent. Textile recycling has a major impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and water usage; if 300 million Americans recycle just one t-shirt, we would avoid use of up to 210 billion gallons of water and keep up to 1 million pounds of CO2 out of our atmosphere.

“We’re committed to creating responsible products – both in how we design them, and also in how long they last,” said Adam Mott, director of sustainability for The North Face. “We’re expanding Clothes The Loop to help find a second life for pre-owned apparel and footwear that might otherwise go to waste. We hope this campaign gets people thinking about the lifecycle of the products they buy and how they can take simple steps to help protect our environment.”

Program Impacts to Date

Through Clothes The Loop, more than 14,540 pounds (7.27 tons) of apparel and footwear have been diverted from landfills so far.

“We have seen fantastic results with this program to date and have received hundreds of requests from customers to expand it. We are excited about this momentum and continuing to scale effective apparel and footwear recycling for more responsible consumption,” added Mott.

#ClothesTheLoop Contest

In celebration of Earth Day, from April 20 until April 26, for each store visitor who brings in used products to a Clothes The Loop bin, The North Face will make a $5 donation to the Conversation Alliance. During this time and throughout the year, apparel and footwear contributions will also automatically earn customers one discount voucher per day to be used towards purchase of The North Face products. Additional details on vouchers are available at www.thenorthface.com/clothestheloop.

Additionally, customers can take a photo of themselves recycling their products and share it on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtags #ClothesTheLoop and #TNFContest. Anyone who tags a friend to encourage them to recycle will be entered in a contest to win a $100 gift card. For the official contest rules, see: http://neverstopexploring.com/2015/04/15/clothestheloop-sweepstakes/.

How the Program Works

The North Face Clothes The Loop bins will be set up in all 83 store locations. Through an ongoing partnership with I:Collect (I:CO), Clothes The Loop accepts used apparel and footwear from any brand in any clean, dry condition. This includes anything from t-shirts and beanies to hiking boots and sandals.

Items collected through Clothes The Loop are sent to a recycling center where they are sorted into more than 350 categories and designated either to be reworn, repurposed or recycled into raw materials for other products such as insulation, carpet padding, stuffing for toys and even fiber for new apparel and footwear. The North Face will donate proceeds accrued through Clothes the Loop to the Conservation Alliance, which funds community-based campaigns to protect outdoor areas for their habitat and recreation values. The North Face is a founding member of the Conservation Alliance, which celebrated 25 years of operation in 2014.

For more information about Clothes The Loop or The North Face brand’s partnership with I:CO, please visit:  http://www.thenorthface.com/clothestheloop.

** This post originally appeared here.

Huntsman Textile Effects enhances digital printing efficiency with NOVACRON® XKS HD inks

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Reactive inks deliver deeper shades and optimum print performance at lower cost

Singapore – Huntsman Textile Effects has introduced NOVACRON® XKS HD reactive inks for industrial ink jet printing. The inks achieve deep and very deep shades as well as true black on multiple fibers.

NOVACRON® XKS HD inks’ high color strength requires less ink to achieve the desired depth of color. The inks are Kyocera-tested and compatible with Kyocera high-speed printer heads commonly used by printer manufacturers.

NOVACRON® XKS HD inks deliver a high-performance result with minimal printer maintenance or downtime, and minimizes ink wastage. It offers excellent runnability and up to 50% more color intensity than other reactive inks available in the market.

“Industrial digital printing faces the challenge of delivering superior quality and optimum print reliability while effectively managing cost and environmental impact.

NOVACRON® XKS HD inks address these demands and deliver the full effect of digital designs – intense, vivid colors and top quality finishing,” said Joerg von Allmen, Global Director of New Business Development for Huntsman Textile Effects. “Our innovative formulation enhances efficiency by reducing ink consumption without compromising on color intensity. NOVACRON® XKS HD inks can be combined with Huntsman’s PREPAJET UNITM pre-preparation auxiliary for exceptional color, printing efficiency and cost savings.”

The special polymer structure of the PREPAJET UNITM auxiliary prevents ink migration on the fabric surface enabling optimum sharpness, definition and color intensity. It is easy to apply and remove, and is suitable for use on all fibers.

The NOVACRON&r eg; XKS HD ink range contains eight high density colors for achieving deep and very deep shades, including very deep black. Its market-leading and exceptional color-fastness are ideal for industrial digital printing of apparel and home textiles.

Copyright© 2015 Huntsman. All rights reserved. NOVACRON is a registered trademark of Huntsman Corporation or an affiliate thereof in one or more, but not all countries. PREPAJET is a trademark of Huntsman Corporation.

EU Commission issues draft Regulation restricting NPEs in textiles

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The European Commission has issued a draft Regulation that would introduce a restriction on the use of nonyl phenol ethoxylates (NPEs) in textile articles.

Source: Flickr

The draft Regulation prohibits the placing on the market of textile articles which can reasonably be expected to be washed in water during their normal lifecycle, if their NPE content is at least 0.01% by weight (that is to say 100mg/kg). It allows exemptions for secondhand textile articles and new textile articles produced exclusively from recycled textiles.

The draft Regulation has a transition period of 60 months between the adoption of the restriction and its applicability, in order to give sufficient time to producers to adapt their production processes so that they comply with the restriction. Adoption is forecast for Q4 2015.

The Commission notified the draft Regulation to the World Trade Organization on 16 April. Echa’s Committees on Socio-economic Analysis (Seac) and Risk Assessment (Rac) backed the proposed restriction last year (CW 11 June 2014).

Transparency Taken a Step Ahead: Made in Green by OEKO-TEX®

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15-Apr-2015 | 2178-EN

Made in Green by OEKO-TEX® –

New label for textiles tested for harmful substances and manufactured using sustainable production – New consumer website on http://www.madeingreen.com

Zurich (hm) For more than 20 years, OEKO-TEX® has been a reliable partner for textile companies committed to human-ecologically safe products and the implementation of more sustainable manufacturing. The newest addition to the product portfolio is Made in Green by OEKO-TEX® – a traceable product label which allows for communication throughout the supply chain all the way to the end-user. The label ensures that made in Green textiles are not only tested for harmful substances (certified according to OEKO-TEX® Standard 100) but also sustainably produced in accordance with OEKO-TEX® guidelines. The label can be awarded to any kind of textile product anywhere in the world at any stage of the textile supply chain. With the Made in Green label, brands, manufacturers and retailers have the chance to promote their responsible practices to their customers in a clear way on point-of-sale material.

The added benefit of Made in Green is that each labelled product can be easily traced, thus offering new levels of transparency throughout the supply chain, all the way to the consumer. Every Made in Green label has a product ID and/or a QR code which shows where the product was manufactured. Depending on the data release granted by the supply chain, the labelling system can provide information on the production sites in which an article was manufactured, which production stage the individual factories belong to and in which country the manufacturing took place.

As proof that products with the Made in Green label are harmless to health, they must successfully pass a laboratory test based on the OEKO-TEX® Standard 100. Proof that the conditions in the participating production facilities are environmentally friendly and socially responsible is provided through an extensive assessment and a subsequent company audit in line with certification according to STeP by OEKO-TEX®.

For textile products that consumers buy at retail, the OEKO-TEX® guidelines for obtaining the Made in Green label are as follows:

  • Any single component that equals or exceeds 5% of the total weight of the textile product must be supplied by STeP by OEKO-TEX® certified production facilities. At least 85% of the weight of a single piece of textile must be supplied by STeP by OEKO-TEX® certified production facilities.
  • The general rule for the above mentioned criteria is that all the making up and wet / chemical processing facilities have to be STeP by OEKO-TEX® certified.
  • The product must be OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 certified.

For intermediate products sold within the supply chain, the label issuer must be STeP by OEKO-TEX® certified and fulfil all of the above mentioned criteria.

During the Made in Green by OEKO-TEX® launch phase, all critical making up and wet/chemical processing facilities must comply with the requirements stated above. Ultimately, in order to receive the Made in Green label, all facilities in the remaining processing stages (spinning, weaving and knitting mills, accessories, fibre production and the production of raw materials) will meet the requirements for STeP certification.

New website shows the manufacturing process for textiles

To support the launch of Made in Green, OEKO-TEX® has introduced a new consumer website which can be found at http://www.madeingreen.com; the site enables interested parties to discover more information about the label. The site will also be available on mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones. The site features the ability to track labelled textiles using a product ID and/or QR code. Visitors without an ID or QR code can use the demonstration function “Test without product ID”. This feature shows visitors the type of information available relating to the production facilities involved in the manufacturing of a particular article. A short video, details on the OEKO-TEX® guidelines for awarding the Made in Green label, a generic description of the individual production stages and information on the OEKO-TEX® Association, including international contact information, completes the online features. The new Made in Green website is currently available in English with incremental language versions planned for the near future.

More detailed information on the new Made in Green label is available at www.oeko-tex.com/mig, on the consumer website www.madeingreen.com and also from the OEKO-TEX® Secretariat. Contact: info@oeko-tex.com.

** This post first appeared here.

Unravel: Story In Focus This Week

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When people in the West throw their clothes away, their cast-offs often go on a journey east, across the oceans, to India’s industrial interior. In her film Unravel, Meghna Gupta traces a humanising path through this little-known phase of the global supply chain.

Source: Unravel
Source: Unravel

From the Kutch District of western India to the northern city of Panipat, garment recyclers turn into yarn the huge bales of clothes that come from people and places distinctly strange. Sometimes ugly, sometimes beautiful, sometimes ludicrously large, the fabrics leave them curious about the people who threw away their clothes ‘practically unworn’.

With little exposure to Western culture other than the Discovery Channel, the garment recyclers rely on their imagination and the rumours that travel with the cast-offs to create an an intriguing perspective on the West.

Crafted with humour and compassion, and featuring a vibrant original score from Eleni Hassabis, Gupta’s film won awards at the Brief Encounters Short Film FestivalRiverRun International Film Festival and Women’s Independent Film Festival, among many others.

DyStar to phase out usage of Colour Index

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Speciality textile dyes and chemicals marketer DyStar Group said it is going to phase out the usage of the Colour Index.

The Colour Index is a reference work published jointly by the Society of Dyers & Colourists (SDC) and the American Association of Textile Chemists & Colorists (AATCC) which lists manufactured colorants.

“It is commonly used by manufacturers and the textile industry to identify colourants,” DyStar said in a press release.

Giving reasons DyStar said, the Colour Index lists products based on general chemical structure, but is missing environmental and ecology factors which are becoming important for product selection.

There are few limitations on the usage by manufacturers of the Colour Index and as a consequence, it doesn’t guarantee compliance with global regulations or place restrictions on potential contaminant substances.

According to DyStar, manufactures of pigments and dyes that commit to be compliant with legal, voluntary and Brand & Retailer RSL requirements don’t have a way of differentiation from the other suppliers.

“On the other hand, textile manufacturers, brands and retailers might not be aware what they are buying, which can have severe consequences for the brand,” DyStar observed.

By only using its own trademarks as product identifiers and stepping away from the Colour Index, DyStar is differentiating itself from suppliers who potentially compromise on environmental and ecological matters.

The DyStar Group wants to make brands & retailers aware that although products may be listed in the Colour Index this does not necessarily mean that they do not contain chemical substances.

“These substances may be subject to restriction by legislation or by voluntary industry initiatives such as the ZDHC MRSL list published in June 2014,” it explained.

DyStar Group is a solution provider, offering customers across the globe a complete range of colorants, auxiliaries and services.

The DyStar Group has offices, competence centers, agencies and production plants in over 50 countries to ensure the availability of expertise in all important markets.

DyStar’s service division offers state of the art colour communication through CSI, textile and ecology testing through Texanlab, ecology and environmental advice, supply chain auditing and consulting for RSL compliant sustainable processes.

The DyStar econfidence program provides assurance that provided products comply with legal, voluntary and brand & retailer RSL requirements, its products are in compliance with legislation. (AR)

** This post previously appeared on fibre2fashion here.