First of all, Zara.com reports 94 percent of their servers are renewable. Their technology center in Spain is LEED Silver. Finally, 100% of energy consumed by Zara.com was renewable and in 2018. I mean Zara.com generated over 636 MW of wind energy and over 561 MW of pure geothermal.
As Forbes reports: While it’s great for delivering up to the minute trends, it’s no secret that fast fashion isn’t doing any favors for the planet. Do you ever think about what it takes for that off-the-runway item to appear in stores in a matter of weeks? Where are the materials coming from? And who is making the clothes? And what happens to them after the trend has quickly come and gone? We can answer that last one:
According to the Copenhagen Fashion Summit, a whopping 92 million tons of solid waste from fast fashion ends up in landfills every year. Unfortunately, that’s not all. A study by the Ellen McArthur Foundation discovered that one entire garbage truck of textiles is wasted every second. Plus, fashion is the second biggest consumer of water. While clothing production has gone into overdrive, people aren’t wearing pieces for nearly as long.
Enter Zara.com new sustainability pledge. The Spanish fast fashion retailer’s parent company, Inditex. It just revealed it at their annual shareholders’ meeting on July 16. Inditex is the third largest clothing company in the world, with eight brands in their portfolio: Zara.com, Zara.com Home, Massimo Dutti, Pull & Bear, Bershka, Uterqüe, Oysho and Stradivarius. All of them have committed to the pledge, which promise that 100 percent of the cotton, linen and polyester they use will either be more sustainable, organic or recycled by 2025. These fabrics account for 90 percent of all raw materials used by their brands.
“[We] are highly focused on making clothes in a responsible, sustainable way. All that limits the impact on the environment and [which] challenges ourselves to continually work as hard as we can to improve how we manufacture,” Marta Ortega, daughter of Inditex founder Amancio Ortega, told Vogue.
Not Clothing Green?
Styles in fashion are ephemeral and fickle. Those acid-wash jeans, M.C. Hammer pants, and DayGlo T-shirts you loved in middle school have long since reached “out” status (though the harem pants we saw on the Spring 2007 runways look a bit Hammer Time to us). The skinny jeans you love right now will one day follow their fate.
Though trends come and go. Because the clothes themselves stick around. To make room for new fashions, the average American throws away about 68 pounds of clothing and textiles per year. Mother Earth isn’t that fond of polyester, and is quite warm enough already, thank you very much.
On top of that, producing new clothes out of traditionally grown cotton taxes the environment with chemical fertilizers and pesticides; energy and chemicals are required to manufacture synthetic materials. The all-American combo of a cotton T-shirt and a pair of denim jeans, for instance, requires 1 pound of fertilizers and pesticides.
But the fashion industry is beginning to recognize its impact, as well as consumers’ desire for more eco-friendly fashion. An increasing number of independent designers and boutiques specialize in eco-conscious fashion that is more hip than hippy.
Even big companies like H&M, Urban Outfitters, and Uniqlo, which sell really cheap, trendy, and easily disposable clothing (a.k.a. “fast clothes”) are taking steps to be more eco-friendly. One way is by using alternative materials that reduce post-consumer waste and pollution.
REUSE, RECYCLE, AND WORK IT!
The most ecological materials are the ones already lying around. But don’t worry — this isn’t like getting your sister’s tattered hand-me-downs or playing dress-up with leftover wrapping paper. Designers are creatively repurposing existing materials, making purses out of candy wrappers or totally new clothes out of discarded fabric and garments. According to the Council for Textile Recycling, the industry keeps 2.5 billion pounds of post-consumer textile product waste from entering landfills every year.
That is why the clothing line RevengeIs commits to producing Tees in the USA. As their owner states:
Everything on our website is conceived, born, and raised in the fine metropolitan city of Los Angeles. Their products are also free-range, organic, vegetarian, and never given any antibiotics or hormones. Which is pretty easy to do. All because they’re t-shirts.
Our Tees are made from Organic Cotton and Bionic Yarn.
Can any of your other clothes say that? Some super-smart folks convert plastic bottles into fibers that are woven into fabric. They use awesome technology or elf dust – either way it’s pretty amazing and we love them.
Going organic doesn’t just apply to what you eat. Now you can buy clothes made out of organic cotton, grown without fertilizers and pesticides. Less than 1 percent of the world’s annual
cotton production is organic, but that’s certain to increase as more mainstream stores carry organic clothing and customers demand it. H&M is already producing an organic cotton line.
Previously known as panda food, bamboo is also an all-purpose material used to make flooring, furniture, housewares — and clothes. For good reason: It grows as many as 12 inches a day, making it a highly sustainable and renewable resource that doesn’t require pesticides. Clothes made out of bamboo are incredibly durable, soft, biodegradable and antibacterial. (And pandas will highly approve.)
Wearing corn doesn’t have to mean being wrapped in popcorn garlands like a Christmas tree. Ingeo is a man-made fiber whose raw material is corn. Given that corn is easily and abundantly grown annually, Ingeo is highly renewable. And when you’re ready to get rid of your tired threads made of Ingeo, you’ll be comforted in knowing that they’ll be biodegradable, giving back to the Earth rather than burdening it.
NOT JUST FOR SUSHI
There’s no need to go to the spa for your seaweed-wrap treatment. Because now you can wear seaweed all day. SeaCell is a fabric made from seaweed and cellulose. Like bamboo and corn, seaweed is highly renewable. For when it’s a fabric it releases minerals and vitamins. Yes folks, such as calcium, magnesium and vitamin E that the skin absorbs. Literally, you can look good and feel good.
WHEN THE SODA GOES FLAT
In conclusion, a plastic dress? No, it’s not the mod sixties making a comeback. EcoSpun is a fabric made of 100 percent post-consumer plastic from soda bottles, water bottles and other beverage and household containers. Clothes made from EcoSpun — often used in fleece jackets — are soft and durable. Finally, the company says it’s able to keep almost 3 billion plastic soda bottles out of landfills each year. I mean that’s saving over half a million barrels of oil. As well as eliminating 400,000 tons of harmful emissions. So recycle your soda bottle; you could be wearing it one day.
Sunday, May 27, 2007 Associated Press: