20 January 2016

#GoneGreen2016 Day 20: Sustainable Switch to Thoughtful Tees


TODAY'S GREEN MANTRA: I shall replace my t-shirts with ones produced ethically, sustainably and thoughtfully

When it comes to basics, we require very little commitment or love for an item before we welcome it into our wardrobe. They're fillers, and thus, we want them as cheaply as possible and in as many colours as possible so we can get on with our lives and be not naked when we choose to.

The problem with this procurement of plenty is how much the production of these things costs us and our planet in the end (see the infographic version of the info below HERE):

[COTTON PRODUCTION]
Nearly 2.4 billion cotton t-shirts are produced every year. We consume 24.3 million tonnes of cotton globally, and almost half a million of that is used for t-shirts alone. Growing cotton for a single t-shirt requires 2000 litres of water (which is roughly 7.5 bathtubs). For fast fashion t-shirts, 150g of pesticides are used per t-shirt, that's equivalent to 360,000,000 kilograms of pesticides a year, which is as heavy as 11,881 M4 Sherman army tanks.

[MANUFACTURING]
Once that cotton hits the factory, 5000 litres of water are used in the manufacturing process, that's about 20,000 cups of tea. We dump about 1.5km of harmful chemicals into that water which harms the workers, the planet, wildlife, and eventually ... you.

[LAUNDERING]
75% of the energy associated with t-shirts is used in the laundering process. And in the UK, laundering accounts for 40% of domestic water footprints. 25% of a t-shirt's dye will be washed down the drain, polluting our eco-system. This dye can get into our drinking water as it is not removed by the sewage filtration process. All this is only part of the story of the environmental impact continues after the product has been bought.

[LANDFILL]
Every year in the UK 1.2 Million Tonnes of textiles end up in landfill. That's about 24,000 jumbo jets. Only 16% is re-used or recycled. This is 20% less than 5 years ago. Every year in the USA 11 million tonnes of textiles end up in landfill. That's about 61,111 Blue Whales. In the U.S only 15% of discarded items are sold second hand.

[HOW CAN YOU HELP?]
1. Don't throw away your gear. Repair, reuse it, or donate it. If it is no longer usable bring it to your local H&M or fabric recycling plant.
2. Support sustainable fashion by purchasing thoughtfully made clothing(see below for bestest brands
3. Trade with your friends in a clothing swapping party with your friends
3. Buy from a charity shop
4. Line dry your clothing because it is cheaper than using tumble dryers. You can save up to £200 in a year on your energy bill if you bypass the dryer. 
5. Clothing will last longer and feel fresher when line dried! Using a clothes line can cut a household's carbon pollution by up to 2.7kg, that's the same weight as 284 pound coins! You can burn 45 calories every 15 minutes while you hang up your clothing. The sun's UV rays are antiseptic which helps kill bacteria.
7. You get fresh air and vitamin D from the sun when you have your clothes outside.
8. In the winter months indoor drying naturally humidifies the dry air from central heating. This prevents illnesses

[SUSTAINABLE TEES]





BETTY BROWNE (AUSTRALIA)
*pictured above
Makes Tees For? women
Eco + Ethical How? Made in Australia from responsibly sourced Organic cotton which is grown on Aussie dry land (non-irrigated farms). Their tees are dyed using sustainable and colour fast Oeko-Tex 100 certified eco dyes and knitted into single jersey fabric in Melbourne
Where To Buy? Their shop, HERE *on sale right now! 

REFORMATION (USA)
Makes Tees For? women
Eco + Ethical How? Their entire collection is dreamy and made from bad ass eco fabrics. (from their site): We incorporate green solutions in everything we do. We recycle, use clean energy, eco friendly packaging, energy-efficient fixtures and appliances, recycled hangers, eco-friendly tote bags,  unbleached/chlorine free paper products, organic and sustainable kitchen products, 75% recycled paper content, FSC certified paper, soy-based inks, recycled/sustainable office supplies, non-toxic  janitorial products…just to name a few. Next, we make our stuff in the factory ensuring not only  quality but sustainability and ethics are upheld. We don't  have to worry about where or how our clothes are  manufactured. Literally we just walk a few feet and see the clothes being made by our own team. We offer our  entire staff fair wages, health insurance, ping pong tables and basketball hoops.
Where To Buy? Their website HERE

EARTH POSITIVE (SWEDEN)
Makes Tees For? women, men, kids, babies
Eco + Ethical How? Exemplary in their demonstration of the highest possible environmental, social and ethical standards from cradle to cradle, Earth Positive has some of the most sustainable thoughtfully made t-shirts that I know of. Their t-shirts are made from 100% monsoon rain fed Organic cotton (GOTS certified / GMO free) which is procured through low impact farming. Each t-shirt is ethically made through fair labour conditions (audited by Fair Wear Foundation) and they have 30 wind turbines powering their production, which has reduced their carbon footprint by 90% (earning them a Carbon Trust Certification). They have a ‘No Airfreight’ policy as well, using containerized ocean shipping instead, thus reducing their carbon footprint further! 
Where To Buy? You can purchase their shirts HERE or order in bulk (for promotional apparel) HERE

Makes Tees For Who? women and men
Eco + Ethical How? Made from 100% recycled materials salvaged from the cuttings of organic cotton textile production, Salvage makes their tees by mixing thoe cotton with fibres from recycled plastic bottles. The mixture is then spun into fine yarn and knitted or woven into fabric. That fabric is then sewn into tshirts under fair labour conditions. All salvage products are certified under the Global Recycle Standard and the Organic Content Standard. Each t-shirt is made up of 60% pre-consumer recycled organically grown cotton and 40% post-consumer recycled polyester (they're incredibly soft!)
Where To Buy? You can purchase their shirts HERE or order in bulk (for promotional apparelHERE
3x1 Unisex Organic Cotton Indigo Dyed Tshirt
http://3x1.us/women/

Makes Tees For? women
Eco + Ethical How? (*copied from their siteAlexx Jae & Milk is a fashion line that has the high standard of making beautiful clothes with a minimum impact on the environment. Materials are carefully selected dead stock available in the local industry, or sourced in the US. All production including dying and sewing are finished at our factory in Downtown Los Angeles.is a fashion line that has the high standard of making beautiful clothes with a minimum impact on the environment. Materials are carefully selected dead stock available in the local industry, or sourced in the US. All production including dying and sewing are finished at our factory in Downtown Los Angeles.
Where To Buy? Their shop, HERE

Makes Tees For? women, men
Eco + Ethical How? This is an incredibly transparent company that believes, like I do, that it is important to be able to trace the lifecycle of your t-shirt. From beginning life in the cotton fields of Turkey, to packing and distribution in the UK, you can follow every step of this GOTS certified company from cradle-to-cradle. They're committed to responsible sourcing and production that not only looks after the environment, but also the people who make their organic cotton t-shirts, creating a beautiful circular story worth knowing.
Where To Buy? HERE

GREEN SHIRTS (GERMANY)
Makes Tees For? women, men
Eco + Ethical How? This is a German company based in Berlin. Their lime-tree logo represents the cycle of nature along with the natural symbiosis of the environment. They have eco-fair transactions which allows you to select the non-profit which will receive a small portion of the price of the product you purchase. They use products from: Earth Positive Apparel (the greenest shirts I know of), Salvage (made from 100% recycled materials), Stanley Stella (made from organic cotton and tencel). 
Where To Buy? HERE

sources: URBAN TIMESCOTTON.ORG, ACF, CARBON TRUSTTHAT D BE RIGHT, THE TELEGRAPH, THE GUARDIAN 
books: Sustainable Fashion Textiles Design Journey by Kate Flecher
photo: Betty Browne Instagram

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