Textile sustainability fits within the most recent and justified concerns of the world population and consumers alike. The term sustainable can be applied to virtually every area of our lives, of which the textile industry is just a part. Even so, it is a significant part of our day-to-day activities.
At ITJV we work daily to contribute to textile sustainability not only of the industry but of the planet.
We believe we have a role to play. We commit to the reuse of materials, such as paper and others, even within our daily operations, whether in the offices or in the factory. In addition, we make sure our electricity comes from renewable sources, a service in which we are proud to invest.
However, the circular knitted fabrics we create start precisely in the fields where most of the fibers we use are produced. That is why textile sustainability must be considered across the board, including by the end consumer.
Textile sustainability is an area that helps to create a sustainable environment, whose impact on the economy and society is profound and to which ITJV seeks to contribute.
What is Textile Sustainability?
Textile sustainability is the sustainable way in which all types of textiles should be produced, used, and disposed of, along the entire value chain of the industry. In other words, textile sustainability is more than the use of natural materials.
In the case of the textile industry in particular, textile sustainability requires taking into account two fundamental aspects:
- on the one hand, the creation or production of raw materials;
- on the other hand, the consumer for whom the quality and origin of the materials matter, whether in terms of personal interest or taste.
This is the starting point from where expressions such as “slow fashion” or sustainable fashion have begun to gain more and more followers.Textile sustainability also encompasses the concept of circular economy, for example, or those of recycling and reuse practices.
However, textile sustainability is a broader area that implies those involved make an effort to respond to a series of challenges, namely at the very source. That is, in the way fibers are produced and in the manner plants or animals are created, developed, and treated.
We can say then that textile sustainability starts with sustainable materials, whether of animal or vegetable origin.
Here, we mainly talk about the efficient management of resources such as water or energy, the underutilization of these same resources, or even the treatment given to the animals from which some types of fibers come.
But this is just the first step. Throughout the entire value chain, a balance must be found between the production of these raw materials, the creation of new parts, and the final consumer. Particularly when taking into consideration that there are fibers that are more sustainable than others, fibers with higher or lower quality, and fibers with more or less interesting characteristics.
Hemp, for example, tends to be more environmentally friendly in terms of production, but cotton is a quality natural fiber with a millenary history and is softer to the touch. Likewise, goats and sheep require different treatments and care. The way wool is obtained differs from animal to animal.
Therefore, the solution for textile sustainability should not be made at the cost of entire productions. In certain regions of the world, there are communities whose livelihood depends on this production, for example.
The effects on the economy and society could be truly devastating if this was the option to follow.
On the contrary, textile sustainability must be seen as an objective to be achieved through a balance based on the production of raw materials in a sustainable manner.
For example, pesticide reduction is one such way. The same is true of the efficient management of water resources, or the reuse of material that would otherwise be discarded and sent to the dump fields without ever being used.
There must be a real effort to find this balance, by the entire textile industry, but also by the end consumer. As far as textile sustainability is concerned, there are several tips you can follow:
- Reuse and Recycle
- Use sustainably sourced products
- Prioritize quality and durability
Textile sustainability is an area of our activity that needs to be strengthened.
Around the world, there are several companies dedicated to changing the paradigm and ITJV is proud to be part of this group.