Striving for a Recycling Economy and Examining the Green Innovation of Brands
Upon taking an overview of the textile industry in recent years, the topic of "circular economy" has often been highlighted. Said topic advocates that the industry should promote the use of renewable energy, reject substances that cannot be reused, and eliminate waste by redesigning the materials, products, processes, and business models that are used. Even well-known international brands like Nike, Adidas, and Gucci, among others, are committed to reducing carbon emissions, plastic waste, and marine garbage while moving towards the development of alternative sustainable materials. In particular, Adidas has issued a declaration to end plastic waste, which aims to completely eliminate the use of primary plastics and polyester by 2024.
The actions and goals of these brands perfectly reflect people's desire for environmental protection and no-waste proposals. From such exhibitions as ISPO and TITAS, as well as major fashion shows, we have discovered various recycling and reuse plans based on environmental protection, including "cyclic regeneration," "recycling," and "biomass / easy decomposition." These different methods are further described below.
Sustainability Example of Brands
I. Cyclic regeneration
Considering the tremendous amount of wasted clothing around the world every year, brands have taken design for recycling as their core to ponder the treatment method of products after their life cycles end, such as using singular material construction in production. The Mono Material series of Norwegian outdoor brand Helly Hansen adopts the homogenous material method during the process by using 100% polyester fiber, which can be directly recycled and made into textiles again after being produced.
We have often heard about making recycled PET bottles into yarn, but today brands have more innovative examples of recycling waste. For example, in 2020, Adidas launched a new PRIMEBLUE series of shoes using recycled marine plastics to make environmentally friendly yarn; Mammut "Close the Loop T-shirt" uses old climbing ropes to produce 100% recyclable ECONYL.
▼To end plastic use video of Adidas
3. Biomass / easy decomposition
The definition of biodegradable fiber refers to fibers that will not decompose in air but can be digested and further decomposed by microorganisms under an appropriate environment. Many brands have taken some bold steps in this field. For example, the British outdoor brand Vollebak launched The Plant and Algae T Shirt, a kind of all-natural compostable T-shirt made of wood pulp and algae, which can be completely decomposed into fertilizer within 12 weeks.
Cherish things, do not waste, and reduce the pressure on the environment
Following the model of major brands that focus on launching new sustainable materials, TSGS and WON.HOUSE have jointly established the brand's environmental protection goal. It has developed the recycled seam tape and provided 2L & 3L plastic recycled waterproof tapes with GRS certification. Furthermore, it also offers garment maintenance services, including the recovery of seam tape peel-off, restitched reinforcement, zippers and patches, and decorative elements repair. Such offerings can prolong the service life of garments, thus wasting fewer resources.
▼TSGS Recycle Seam Tape.
▼WON.HOUSE provides garment repair and maintenance services.
Currently, although reconciling some technologies with the goals of environmental protection and recycling is still difficult, it is undeniable that brands and suppliers have made continuous progress with regard to the levels of materials and technology. We have the faith to achieve the goal of sustainability and environmental protection in order to reduce the impact of the textiles industry on the environment in the near future.
Data reference and more information
Tnet Trends Quarterly No.274
Taiwan Textile Federation