Green Cleaning NOT Green Washing

When it comes to sustainability in the textile arena (particularly in Fashion), a change has got to come.  In terms of the carbon emissions relating to the industry alone, it is one of the highest utility using sectors.  In the manufacturing side and also the disposal side.  Clothes are not lasting long enough.

The right noises are being made and many are talking about how a “Green Recovery” is the only recovery we can or should make in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In the U.K we are making a shift, but more (and something truly authentic) needs to be done.  It’s more about true green solutions and NOT “Green Wash!”

The main goal of the Paris Climate Change agreement is to limit global temperature increases to just 1.5 degrees Celsius.  As things currently stand, there is a lot more that needs to be done to achieve that.  Probably an improvement of 60% against individual targets and the answer is not a silver bullet.

A real shift is necessary, incorporating initiatives relating to sustainable design, responsible sourcing, fibre content, recyclable fibres, lifetime of the garment, circularity, renewable energy and recycling operations.

This will become, like lots of things this year, the “new normal” and will involve a complete reset.  Fashion retail as a whole is going through a complete reset right now.  Not just the regulations they operate under due to the pandemic but catching up with their competitors.  Before 2020, for some retailers it didn’t matter if their online presence wasn’t too sophisticated because in some cases the bricks and mortar side, the store, balanced that out.  But footfall downturns have caused this reset.

Even in the supermarket space, Aldi has launched a ‘click and collect’ model to cater to customers who don’t want to visit the inside of the store.  Not quite the full delivery service, but a step in the right direction.

New alignment and joined-up thinking are going to have a big impact.  Just this week the U.K. chancellor has launched a ‘Green Bond’ which will help fund projects that will tackle climate change and firms and by 2025 large companies will have to publicly disclose the risks they face from climate change and the net-zero transition, or explain why not, by the end of 2023. Making the UK the first country in the world to make climate risk disclosures obligatory.

But there needs to be an alignment with consumer behaviours and attitudes.  Something that demonstrates authenticity, whilst giving guidance, educating, something that’s measurable and that communicates all there is to know.

The consumer is becoming savvier and is always looking for that gap in the logic.  We’ve become far more analytical and data-driven and there is very much a focus on what gets measured gets actioned.  For us, the gap is between sustainable design and production of a garment and how it’s disposed of.

Leading us to a need for brands to focus on how to increase the lifetime of the garment, not just through sustainable design but in how the garment is cared for, so that it can live a long life in the wardrobe, and is in better condition to be passed on to someone else, or indeed, making sure the fabric is in a better condition to be recycled.

GreenEarth will be holding a webinar on November 19th to talk about our advancements over the past 21 years and how we can all play a part in making clothes last longer.  To register your FREE place, please visit our Events page.