Sustainability in the garment industry can and should mean more than using organic cotton and supplying employees with a better quality work environment. The daily use of energy to power machines, water input and output, and the chemical waste created as a by-product of garment manufacture, all add up to a significant amount. In fact, Green Matters states that there are six main factors that companies need to consider:
- Alternative resources — the supplier’s use of sustainable and renewable resources
- Chemical management — if the supplier has a Restricted Substances List (RSL) or Manufacturing RSL (MRSL)
- Factory transparency list — whether the supplier shares information about the factories it uses
- Factory safety — if the supplier is open about their factory safety standards
- Water management — whether the supplier is working to reduce its water use
- Waste and recycling — if the supplier is working to reduce waste and close the loop
In recent times, we have seen a massive shift towards environmentally-friendly methods used in manufacture. It has become a much more feasible and accessible approach to production, because the resources available to brands and businesses is extensive. And now the reasons for not switching over to sustainable manufacture are becoming more and more bleak.