With consumers waking up to the impact of how their clothes and other textiles are made, it is important for retailers and manufacturers to understand the key sustainability risks in raw material supply chains.
Cotton is the most popular plant fibre used in textiles production, however, this brings with it a series of challenges including:
- High water usage
- High pesticide and fertiliser use
- Water pollution from chemical runoff
- Soil erosion
- Poor working conditions
- Traceability challenges
Changes can be made to the cotton supply chain to make production practices more sustainable. Alongside this, some organisations are looking into alternative plants to produce clothes and other textiles, for example, hemp, flax and bamboo. However, these too can have environmental impacts depending on how and where they are grown.
It is not only plant products used in textile production. Materials such as leather, wool and cashmere are all popular materials used in clothing and fashion which also come with an array of sustainability challenges. These are by-products of meat production, and carry with them the environmental challenges associated with rearing livestock. This can include:
- Animal welfare
- Water use
- Greenhouse gas emissions
We can support you with the following solutions:
- The measurement of water and carbon footprints
- Comparative assessments of different products
- Supporting farmers with best-practice production approaches
- Communicating sustainability issues to consumers
Take a look at our services to see how ADAS can help you improve the sustainability of your textile products.