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C&A Foundation Launches ‘Fashion for Good’ Initiative

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Global fashion retailer C&A’s charitable arm, C&A Foundation has launched a global initiative aimed at helping brands, retailers and manufacturers find more innovative and sustainable ways of producing fashion.

‘Fashion for Good’ is a joint-industry initiative involving Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), Ellen MacArthur Foundation and IDH, and Sustainable Trade Initiative. The initiative offers practical action in the form of support, funding and roadmaps, and by fostering a sector-wide collaboration rather than competition and aims to enable innovation and widespread adoption of “good fashion practice”.

With an innovation hub in Amsterdam, a start-up accelerator in Silicon Valley, California, and a global network of ‘change makers’, Fashion for Good re-imagines how fashion is designed, made, worn and reused so that people, companies and the planet can all thrive. By mobilizing around a collective innovation and investment agenda, we will spark and scale technologies and business models that have the potential to change the sector profoundly. And by openly sharing what we learn, we will guide the fashion industry toward a future in which brands, suppliers, communities and our planet can all thrive. Fashion for Good will launch its first hub in Amsterdam on March 30.

It may be mentioned here that the new initiative is part of C&A Foundation’s wider efforts to drive the transition to circular fashion by nurturing and scaling solutions that can change the way clothes are made, used, and reused.

*This story first appeared on Apparel Resources


Inditex’s Sustainability Investment Reaches €7 Million in 5 Years

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Inditex, world’s leading fashion group which operates over 7,000 stores in 88 markets and owns brands like Zara, Pull&Bear, Massimo Dutti, Bershka, Stradivarius, Oysho, Zara Home and Uterqüe, has invested more than Euro 7 million on sustainability front over the last five years.

The Group has invested in expansion, scaling and modernization of logistics platforms and design centres to boost efficiency and energy saving measures. The start-up of highly-advanced “multi-shuttle” areas at the Bershka platform in Tordera, Barcelona, and at the Arteixo distribution centre (A Coruña) make dispatch time management more efficient and precise and double the speed.

Another area was research and development work focused on store applications for sustainable technology, such as paper saving mobile payments and efficiency technology RFID. Last year, it completed the deployment of RFID technology across its entire Zara store base and has embarked on the process of rolling this technology out in its Massimo Dutti and Uterqüe stores. Other brands like Pull&Bear, with Stradivarius, Bershka and Oysho will follow in 2018. Besides, the number of eco-efficient stores worldwide reached 4,519 in 2016 delivering water savings of 40% and energy savings of 20%.

Furthermore, it also introduced mobile payments in 15 markets in total since it started to roll-out in Spain, the UK, US, Italy and France. Using the online apps of each of Inditex’s eight retail concepts or using a Group app called InWallet facilitate the environmentally responsible replacement of hard-copy receipts with e-receipts. Online orders placed in Spain with any of the Group’s brands have no longer generated hard copy receipts since March 2017 thanks to the e-receipt system named “Paperless”. Zara is also already using this system in the US and the UK.

The Green to Pack project at Zara alone save 22,000 trees and the emission of 1,680 tonnes of carbon every year. In addition to this, it also introduced clothing containers for used-garments in all Zara stores in Spain, Portugal, the UK, the Netherlands, Denmark and Ireland for recycling into new fabrics.

The research and development of more sustainable fabrics is also increasing. Last September Zara launched the second edit ion of its Join Life collection made of Refibra™ fibres. Developed by Austria’s Lenzing Group, Refibra™ fibre are made of pulp from cotton scraps and from sustainably-managed forests.

*This story first appeared on Apparel Resources

ASBCI to Organize ‘Sustainability Conference’ in April

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ASBCI (Association of Suppliers to the British Clothing Industry) has announced to hold a Spring Conference 2017, which will take place on 5th April 2017 at the Marriott Hotel in Peterborough, Canada. Agenda of the conference will be ‘DOING THE RIGHT THING? – Best practices for sustaining our people, planet and profits’ and the event will be chaired by Simon Allitt, ASBCI Event Committee Vice Chairman and Head of Retail, TUV Rheinland.

It may be mentioned here that sustainability is placed on top of the global fashion industry’s agenda and according to ASBCI, ten years ago Marks & Spencer launched its game-changing Plan A. Since then most big brands and retailers have implemented their own robust ethical and environmental sustainability programmes with the collective objective of protecting people and the planet.

The ASBCI sustainability conference has assembled speakers with unparalleled experience of the most effective and commercial, sustainable initiatives and innovations. The speakers will share their experience, insight and vision in a bid to give attendees a sustainable and profitable future.

The conference will have following sessions: Are You Doing the Right Thing (Rakesh Vazirani – Director of Product Traceability & Environmental Information Management TUV Hong Kong), Plan A 10 Years On (Mike Barry, Director Plan A, Marks & Spencer), Striving for sustainability in the clothing industry – an Overview of working with WRAP (Prof. Tim Cooper, Professor of Sustainable Design and Consumption, Nottingham Trent University), Fashioning Fibres for the Future (Robin Anson, Editorial Director, Textiles Intelligence), Cottoning On (Graham Burden, Director, Sustainable Textile).

Post-lunch session will cover topics such as, Water Use in the Textile Supply Chain (Elaine Gardiner, Sustainability Manager, Berghaus), Sustainability Together (Guido Rimini, Head of Marketing, Apparel Europe, Freudenberg Performance Materials Apparel SE & Co. KG Solutions), Closing the Loop (Ross Barry, Lawrence M Barry & Co) and Supply Chain Transparency – What have you got to lose (Tara Luckman, Fabric & Sustainability Manager, ASOS.COM)

*This story first appeared on Apparel Resources

Global Organic Textile Standard Announces Version 5.0

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gots-logo1.jpgGlobal Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), world’s leading processing standard for textiles made from organic fibres and treatments, has released its new Version 5.0, three years after the Version 4.0 was introduced. The new version is a result of a comprehensive stakeholder input process in which various organizations with expertise in organic production, textile processing and social criteria participated.

The high ecological and social requirements as well as word-wide practicability and verifiability were considered in the revision work, in order to achieve a reliable and transparent set of criteria. The aim of the new standard is to define world-wide recognized requirements that ensure organic status of textiles, from harvesting of the raw materials, through environmentally and socially responsible manufacturing up to labelling in order to provide a credible assurance to the end consumer.

Textile processors and manufacturers are enabled to export their organic fabrics and garments with one certification accepted in all major markets. The implementation deadline for GOTS-certified entities to fully comply with Version 5.0 is 1 March, 2018. The standards for the ‘additional fibre material’ are now stricter regarding the environmentally improved and certified regenerated cellulosic fibres: The use of Viscose and Modal is now restricted to 10 per cent (25 per cent for sportswear and socks). Lyocell may still be used up to 30 per cent due its more sustainable manufacturing processes.

The new version follows the general approach of GOTS to define high-level certifiable environmental criteria throughout the entire processing chain of apparel and home textiles (including spinning, knitting, weaving, wet processing, manufacturing, and trading) made from a minimum of 70 per cent certified organic fibres.

*This story first appeared on Apparel Resources


China’s First Wastewater Plant Using Electron Beams Opens

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World’s leading textile producer China has opened its first ever plant that uses electron beams to treat industrial wastewater in vast textile dyeing industry, ushering in a new era for radiation technology. The new plant in Jinhua city, 300 kilometres south of Shanghai, will treat 1,500 cubic metres of wastewater per day, around a sixth of the plant’s output.

Jianlong Wang, Deputy Director of Nuclear and Energy Technology Institute at Tsinghua University, Beijing and the principal researcher behind the project, commented, “Chinese researchers have benefited from the advice of experts from Hungary, Korea and Poland in the adoption of the technology and the construction of the plant.”

Explaining the technology, Wang elaborated that bacteria are the workhorses of wastewater treatment as they digest and break down pollutants. Wastewater from textile dyeing contains molecules that cannot be treated with bacteria. It can contain more than 70 complex chemicals that do not easily degrade hence to break these complex chemicals into smaller molecules, which, in turn, can be treated and removed using normal biological processes, electron beams are used by irradiating. Irradiation is done using short-lived reactive radicals than can interact with a wide range of pollutants and break them down.

Before opting for radiation technology using electron beams, Chinese researchers had run an extensive set of feasibility experiments using the effluent from the plant, comparing electron beam technology with other methods. “Electron beam technology was the clear winner as both the more ecological and more effective option,” Wang added.

It’s worth mentioning here the textile dyeing accounts for a fifth of all industrial wastewater pollution generated worldwide and lots of wastewater goes untreated.

*This story first appeared on Apparel Resources

Textile units in Tamil Nadu unable to bear expenses on compliance issues

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Textile units in SIPCOT unable to bear expenses on compliance issues

Textile units in Perundurai SIPCOT Industrial Growth Centre are reportedly losing out on competitive pricing of products due to large expenses on complying with the norms. It has been said that around 15 units out of 50 have shut their operations in last four years after suffering losses.

S. Selvaraj, Joint Secretary, Perundurai SIPCOT Textiles Processors Association (PSTPA) mentions, “We lose out as the units that do not comply with ZLD norms are able to sell their products for Rs. 15 to Rs. 20 lesser per kg in the export market. It is difficult to survive in the absence of a level-playing field. The units exiting from SIPCOT are moving to other States where the norms are not so stringent.”

The association has also urged the State Government to impose uniform compliance by all dyeing and bleaching industries as it has offered Rs. 700 crore package to establish CETPs in neighbouring districts of the state like Erode.

**This story first appeared on Apparel Resources here.

Indian textile sector marches towards sustainability with Government’s assistance

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As the global impetus on sustainability rises, the Indian Ministry of Textiles is gearing up for the challenge with a fund allocation of US $ 76.8 million. A sum of US $ 76.8 million has been earmarked by the Government under the 12th five year plan to enable the textile industry to meet the required environmental standards by adopting modern technology. An Integrated Processing Development Scheme will be implemented in Public Private Partnership mode by Special Purpose Vehicle which will be a corporate body registered under the Companies Act. Government of India’s support is limited to 50 per cent of the project cost with a ceiling of US $ 11 million (INR 75 Cr) for projects with Zero Liquid Discharge and US $ 1.5 million (INR 10 crore) for projects with conventional treatment systems. In case of marines discharge project, maximum assistance can be given up to US $ 11 million (INR 75 crore) on case to case basis.

**This story first appeared on here.

Heat Insulation: A Green Solution for Saving Energy

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The sun’s heat drastically increases the load on the HVAC system of a building or a factory, in turn increasing the electricity consumption. In its previous article focused at reducing the load on the HVAC system, StitchWorld in its December 2014 issue, highlighted In’flectors which prevent 72% of the sunlight from entering the structure from the windows, which account for 25-35% loss of heat or air-conditioning from an average-sized building. Along the same lines, a significant amount of load can be reduced on the HVAC system by applying a heat insulating coat in form of paint or tiles on the exterior walls and the roof.

Heat resistant tiles appear like normal white tiles

Companies that are providing these heat insulating solutions claim that these solutions can reflect back up to 95% of the heat, in turn reducing the temperature of the surface of the roof by almost 20° C and bringing about a difference of 5-8° C inside the room.  “Under the direct exposure, when the outside temperature is 45° C, the temperature of the ceiling is nothing more than 35° C and of the concrete roof is 70° C, and after applying our solutions the same comes down by 20° C, comfortable enough to walk on the surface with bare feet,” states Sameer Roy of Himani Insulation, dealers of Thermatek’s heat insulating products.

Only some amount of heat is absorbed by the roof after being heat proofed

The rooms built directly under the roof of the building inflict the highest load on the HVAC system as the ACs run at 18° C. Hence, if such solutions are applied, the air-conditioners would run at a moderate load, consuming significantly less power. “These solutions can also affect the health of a person because if a person comes out in an air-conditioned cabin or room in an open area with a higher temperature, on a regular basis, he/she is bound to fall sick,” highlights Sameer. With summers lasting for almost 9 months in all the apparel manufacturing hubs, direct savings range from 30% to 50% in the electricity bills while the indirect savings are numerous as companies can do away with the air-condition in some areas and scenarios. During winters, it works in the opposite manner, by not letting the heat inside the room move out through the walls or the roof as the building is completely enveloped, thus maintaining the comfortable temperature inside the room. The reduction of temperature inside the building helps in cutting down the power consumption by up to 50%, again because of the reduction in the use of room heaters.

Table 1: Comparison of different heat proofing solutions

The effect of these systems increases with the increase in amount of heat. Most of these heat proofing solutions conform to Green building requirements and help in reducing the carbon footprint by saving almost 25-40%. There are a few factors upon which the effectiveness of their product depends.

  • Windows & their opening inside the room – The amount of heat coming inside the room would vary with the openings and glass windows in the room.
  • People inside the room – The net amount of heat produced by the individuals due to exhalation inside the room would increase with the number of individuals inside the room.
  • Surface of the roof – The amount of heat conducted through the walls is dependent on their thickness and nature of the materials used in construction. Hence for concrete walls the natural heat insulation would be the maximum, for asbestos it would be a bit lesser and for corrugated GI sheet it would be the least.
  • Air-conditioning – The airconditioning system inside the room would obviously affect the temperature inside.
  • Wind conditions on the surface of the roof – The wind on the surface of the roof drives away the heat on the surface.

The heat insulating membrane has air voids which don’t let the heat pass

Heat proofing solutions are available in mainly three types – paint, tiles and mortar. Paints are also of 2 types: first, based on elastomeric coating which does not crack even under rapidly changing climatic conditions, unlike the traditional waterproofing layers which develop cracks easily, allowing water to seep in. These elastomeric coatings have hollow microspheres which have encapsulated air which helps in heat insulation as it does not allow heat to pass through it and a little amount which does pass is at a slow speed and hence the effect is reduced till the time it reaches the wall, resulting in cooler surfaces. The second type of paint is based on a patented technology which reflects back up to 95% of the heat, once the infrared rays strike its surface. These paints wear off like normal wall paints and need to be recoated after a period of 3-4 years and can be applied on exterior walls as well as all sorts of roofs, except for on smooth plaster, as it does not stay on it. The same can also be applied on prefabricated structures and on water tanks to avoid the water from heating up. The tiles consist of three layers, the top layer reflects the infrared rays, the middle layer emits the heat absorbed and the bottom layer is of mortar, which does not let the heat pass through it. Mortar can be used separately as well, according to the requirement, but works best when applied in combination with the tiles.

**This story first appeared on here.