Controlling the fashion footprint - In the midst of the textile manufacturing boom - Kornit Blog

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Global
textile manufacturing is at an all-time high, we are spending more on clothing
than ever…and faster than ever. A new segment, fast fashion was introduced by
companies that were able to dramatically shorten their supply chain, which means
that people are not only buying more, but buying it much more frequently.  Across nearly every apparel category,
consumers keep clothing items about half as long as they did 15 years ago.

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Innovation
in the garment manufacturing has not kept pace with the acceleration of how
they are designed and marketed. The textile industry has been labelled the third most polluting
industry after oil and gas for its extravagant use of natural resources and the
dyes that pollute the water and environment in general.

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Fast fashion is
now a large, sophisticated business fed by a fragmented and relatively low-tech
production system. This system has enormous environmental effects: producing
clothes typically requires using a lot of water and chemicals and emitting
significant amounts of greenhouse gases.

And
among this reality the buzz word that abounds…Sustainability

Sustainability
and fashion at this point in time seem to be a contradiction in terms as the
textile industry is one of the most polluting industries in the world.

However
the promoting of sustainability IS occurring on several levels and there are
shifts in the industry – about what we produce, how we produce it and what we
do with it.

This
trend is now catching up with retailers as consumers become more aware of the
environmental impacts and governments begin to enforce regulations. Retailers
are now being put under scrutiny. They need a way to source/produce eco friendly
fashion that can be produced on the fly without wreaking havoc on the environment.

From
organic manfacturing of fabrics, to the invention of new innovative,
sustainable fabrics  made from natural, recyclable
material  – such as pineapple leather and
material made from orange peels to produce eco-friendly clothing, innovation is taking place.

Interest
groups are forming to set new standards and influence brands and consumers – one example – The Stella McCartney brand, a sustainable clothing brand that and is active in spreading awareness on better practices on materials, manufacturing methods and labor practices.

Innovations
in textile production are paving the way to more sustainable fashion, from companies
that are developing technologies to manufacturing in a more sustainable manner – eliminating
water consumption in the dyeing and printing process.

Advanced production methods
that use resources sparingly, climate waste and pollution will have a huge impact
on the levels of pollution inflicted by the industry.  Water is an essential element in textile production
and in dyeing of fabrics, and these processes have made the industry on the of the
most polluting industries.  Traditional dyeing
methods for example have not changed from the methods used hundreds of years
ago- which means excessive user of water, and dyeing of large quantities of
fabric in a cumbersome, wasteful process.

Digital
direct to fabric and direct to garment printing provides a method to print
directly on fabric exactly when you need at and to the exact quantity. Such
water-less processes are fairly new to the industry and are revolutionizing
entire processes, and supply chains. Most importantly these processes allow
from print on demand, which reduces waste as stocks of printed fabrics no
longer need to be held. The water-less processes mean that water usage is
minimized and water pollution eliminated. Such machinery enables re-shoring as
manufacturing on demand makes sense close to distribution of the final garment,
and supports the short supply chain demanded by fast changing fashion
cycles.

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Read more at https://www.kornit.com/sustainability/

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