Green to Wear raw materials
Join Life products have to be manufactured using, at least, one Green to Wear raw material.
The greatest impact of a garment or footwear is made during the fibre production of the textile fabrics or the materials used in the final product. For this reason, Join Life products have to be manufactured using a Green to Wear raw material. BETTER raw materials are fibres with less environmental impact than conventional ones. BEST raw materials are sustainable fibres aligned with our Join Life Standard. In order to classify a fibre as BEST or BETTER raw material we rely on life-cycle assessments.
Here you can check our Best Green to Wear raw materials:
Ecologically Grown Cotton, also known as organic cotton, reduces the environmental impacts of cotton cultivation. In 2014, Textile Exchange, a NGO that promotes the responsible expansion of textile sustainability, particularly in respect of organic cotton growing; elaborated a Life Cycle Assessment of organic cotton to quantify its environmental benefits. The main results of this study were that, in 2014, the organic cotton harvest is equivalent to a potential saving of:
- 236.9 billion litres of water
- 300.6 million kilowatts of energy
- 96.3 million kg of CO2
TENCEL® fibre is made out of certified wood from sustainably managed forests and controlled sources. The transformation of cellulose pulp into fibre is made by a highly efficient and closed loop process where the solvent used is recycled by almost 100%, reducing the use and discharge of chemical products. This process received the "European Award for the Environment" from the European Union. Lenzing Group has developed a Life Cycle Assessment to evaluate the environmental impacts of TENCEL® and compare it with other fibres. This assessment can be found here. And more information about the environmental benefits of TENCEL® can be found in the Lenzing Group site here.
They are also included as raw materials Best, the lyocell from other manufacturers.
Refibra™ Lyocell is a fibre made from pulp that contains cotton scraps left over from cutting operations and wood. The fibre is produced in the TENCEL® production process. Therefore, Refibra™ combines both advantages, the recycling of cotton scraps and a sustainable fibre technology. The recycling of cotton waste into a new fibre reduces the need to extract additional raw materials from nature, lowers the impact on natural resources and offers a practical solution to promote circular economy. More information about the environmental benefits of RefibraTM can be found in the Lenzing Group site here.
Lenzing™ ECOVERO™ is the eco-responsible viscose fiber manufactured from certified renewable wood sources while using a strict process that achieves high environmental standards. The fiber has the certification of the EU Ecolabel label to the environmental excellence. Lenzing™ Ecovero™ generates 50% lower emissions and less water use compared to a conventional viscose. (As per the Higg MSI provided by the Sustainable Apparel Coalition).
The use of recycled materials reduces the natural resources depletion, promoting the conservation of the environmental through the reduction of water and energy consumption during fibre manufacturing. The recycled raw materials BEST are the following:
- Recycled cotton: Recycled cotton consists of either pre-consumer waste or post-consumer waste that can no longer be used for its intended purpose. The waste is first separated by type and colour then placed into stripping machines which break the fabric into pieces. Fibres are then pulled apart, and the mixture is carded several times to clean and mix the fibres before being re-spun into new yarns. Using recycled cotton replaces the need for farming of virgin cotton crops, thereby saving land which could be put to other agricultural use. The water used for producing recycled cotton is approximately 80 percent lower than for growing conventional cotton. (Textile Exchange, 2014).
- Recycled polyester and recycled polyamide: Recycled polyester and polyamide conserves non-renewable resources by replacing the need for primary extraction of crude oil used in this materials production and limiting the depletion of a finite resource. In addition, recycling reduces the amount of landfill disposal. Water use during recycling is low. (Textile Exchange, 2014).
- Recycled wool: Recycled wool consists of either pre-consumer waste or post-consumer waste. The waste is separated by type and colour, then is broken into pieces and fibre mixture carded several times before being re-spun in new yarns. Using recycled wool reduces the amount of waste sent to landfill and water and chemicals consumption related to treat virgin wool. (Textile Exchange, 2014).
Polyurethane is a material known as "synthetic leather or artificial leather" and is made of a textile fabric with a PU coating on top. Traditionally, the manufacturing process consisting in coagulation (wet process) onto fabric with polyurethane in organic solvents like the N,N-dimethylformamide (DMF). The DMF is a solvent identified as a Substance of Very High Concern (SVHC) for the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) and, therefore, its use is under observation by Inditex. Currently, there are alternatives of water-based polyurethane formulations that can be used directly onto the fabric without the need of DMF.
Sustainable European linen is a natural and sustainable fibre cultivated without artificial irrigation in organic converted farms that use natural fertilizers and not genetically modified seeds, ensuring the absence of residue in the fiber and in the soil after harvesting.
This process is certified by the European Flax® (www.europeanflax.com) a certification created by CELC [European Confederation of Flax and Hemp] a not-for-profit agro-industrial organisation federating all the stages of production and transformation of flax and hemp. Its traceability along the textile value chain is verified by independent certification body Bureau Veritas.
France, Belgium and The Netherlands are the leaders of flax fibre production, in quality and sustainability. Here you can check the Life Cycle Assesment and more info.
Here you can check our Better Green to Wear raw materials:
The Better Cotton Initiative is a non-profit organization aimed to make global cotton production better for the people who produce it, better for the environment as it grows in and better for the sector’s future. To achieve this mission, BCI works with a diverse range of stakeholders across the cotton supply chain to promote measurable and continuing improvements for the environment, farming communities and the economies of cotton-producing areas. Furthermore, The Better Cotton Standard System includes a chain of custody system to connect farmers with manufacturers and final distributors. More information about BCI can be found here.
The LENZING Modal® is a cellulosic fibre from wood harvested in sustainably managed forests. This fibre is produced by Lenzing in Austria using a production process that recovers and reuses 95% of the chemicals used. Lenzing Group has developed a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to evaluate the environmental impacts of LENZING ModalL® and compare it with other fibres. This assessment shows that the LENZING Modal® has less impact than traditional fibres (cotton, polyester, etc.) although not as low as the TENCEL®. For this reason, LENZING Modal® is considered as a raw material BETTER. This LCA can be found here. And more information about the environmental benefits of TENCEL® can be found in the Lenzing Group site, here.
Leather has to be tanned to avoid decomposition. There are different types of tanning processes based on the tanning product used. Most common tanning processes are chrome tanning, metal tanning and vegetal tanning. During chrome tanning, and in later stages, chrome can be oxidised to hexavalent chrome. Hexavalent chrome can produces allergic reactions and it is persistent in the environment. For these reason, we consider chrome free leather as a BETTER raw material.