Sustainability & Fashion - the Case of Bamboo.

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  • Topic: Cellulose, Rayon, Cotton
  • Pages : 20 (6083 words )
  • Download(s) : 78
  • Published : May 14, 2013
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Sustainability and fashion are two seemingly contradictory concepts as fashion is all about change and sustainability is all about preservation, but the fashion industry has to develop towards sustainability like all other resource intensive industries in the world. It is now estimated that humans are using resources equivalent to 1.5 planets and still increasing. Designers have a key role in this development by increasing the opportunities for sustainable consumption and production. Bamboo textile has recently been given great exposure as a sustainable fibre from the industry. And it has been praised as the natural and eco-friendly textile material of the 21st century. However, in most cases bamboo fabric is processed by chemical means. In this essay some of the conflicting messages that can be found regarding the sustainability of bamboo made fabrics will be addressed, by giving an outline of the technical background and processes of manufacturing bamboo.  Introduction……………………………………………………………. p.4

Sustainability in fashion………………………………………………. p.5

oSustainability in general
oWhat is sustainable fashion?

The case of bamboo as a sustainable fabric………………………….. p. 7

oRegenerated cellulose fibres
oBamboo as a plant
oThe ‘closed loop’ system
oCertificate stamps

Good publicity or trying to make a difference……………………… p. 16

Concluding remarks………………………………………………….. p. 17

Bibliography…………………………………………………………... p. 19  
Introduction

As a fashion student, entering my last semester, with the ambition of working in the fashion industry after graduation, I have been given the time to explore a subject that lies close to my heart: Sustainability in the fashion industry. It is a discussion that is current in society and has been accelerating for some years now. Sustainability and fashion are two seemingly contradictory concepts as fashion is all about change and sustainability is all about preservation, but the fashion industry has to develop towards sustainability like all other resource intensive industries in the world. It is now estimated that humans are using resources equivalent to 1.5 planets and still increasing. At the moment bleaching, dying and printing processes used in the fashion industry, place clothing manufacturing on an equal level with petro-chemical production.

„At least 8,000 chemicals are used to turn raw materials into textiles, and 25 percent of the world's pesticides are used to grow non-organic cotton. This causes irreversible damage to people and the environment, and still two-thirds of a garment's carbon footprint will occur after it is purchased.“

Designers have a key role in this development by increasing the opportunities for sustainable consumption and production. There are textile specialists and fashion designers who work to encourage the industry to develop responsible methods for the production of clothes. Some designers do this through the use of recycled materials, whereas others favour organic fabrics such as hemp, raw silk and Ingeo . Biodegradable textiles and renewable melt-processable fibres are popular inorganic choices. As a fashion designer wanting to start a company that is not part of the problem, but part of the solution I need to find out where to start. Where do I get information? I know that one of the most important things within my control is the material I choose. So, where are my limits in use of material? Do I have to limit myself, in the use of elements such as colour, bleaching, and washing methods? And why shouldn’t there be limits, if toxins, such as Formaldehyde, are the only methods used to achieve this. I could decide to go all organic in production, using only organic natural fibres in the designs, but do I have to? Is it the most sustainable choice or are there other solutions, in today’s technological society? For fashion designer to source ecologically sustainable textiles can a...
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