EcoFashion: Who Loves the Earth

Companies that produce clothes, shoes and accessories are growing ever more concerned about their environmental impact. It is evident that reducing negative effects has become the most popular new trend. Explore the best examples of water conservation with

Timberland Earthkeepers

Timberland, a world-famous brand known for their yellow boots, goes greener every year. In 2010, CEO Jeff Swartz took inspiration from an initiative carried out in a small Australian town and banned bottled water in all Timberland offices around the world. “50 billion PET water bottles are used in the US every year (200 billion worldwide) and only 25% of that number is recycled!” wrote Jeff in his blog. To mark the first anniversary of this resolution, Timberland launched a new shoe collection – Earthkeepers. Recycled plastic from PET bottles is used to produce shoelaces and lining, while the sole is made of recycled rubber. Never throw away your old Timbs, by the way: just turn them in to the local store to make sure they get a second life.

Marithé + François Girbaud: Wattwash


Designer brands are also dedicated to sustainability. It’s been 40 years now since French brand Marithé + François Girbaud invented Stonewash technology to give their denim an elegantly distressed look. It took a couple of years for Stonewash to gain popularity around the world. However, the Girbauds decided to keep moving and, for the last 15 years, they have been searching for a way to make this technology more sustainable. As a result, they came up with an innovative solution: whereas Stonewash required water to make denim look worn, Wattwash – the new method – requires only light and ozone. The appliances for Stonewash were invented by a Spanish company, Jeanologia, leading to 97.5% water conservation during denim treatment. Let us hope that within a couple of years, all jeans companies adopt Wattwash, as they did with Stonewash.

Levi’s WaterLess

Levi’s used 172 million fewer liters of water in making jeans since launching the WaterLess collection in Spring 2011. The company’s production experts applied their secret know-how to the denim treatment process: whereas regular production uses 28 liters of water for one pair of jeans, WaterLess jeans require only 1.5 liters. Levi’s analysts examined the lifecycle of 501, the company’s flagship product, and discovered that more than 3,000 liters of water are used for each pair. 49% is used to grow the cotton, and 6% for the jeans-making process. The remaining 45% of water is used by 501 owners washing their jeans. The poster above reminds us to wash jeans only once every two weeks, instead once a week, in order to save more water. And don’t forget to turn in your worn-out pair to a Salvation Army shop, as the label on your WaterLess jeans suggests.

Perfect Handbag

Here is some sad news for you, girls. Only one woman in a million, it seems, doesn’t dream of owning an it-bag, like a Birkin by Hermès, or a Chanel 2.55. Unfortunately, leather processing is as far from sustainability as it was in Middle Ages. It requires tons of water, and wastewater coming from leather production is saturated with toxic chemicals. For example, in the city of Kanpur – the self-proclaimed leather capital of the world – the concentration of chromium in wastewater exceeds the safe limit by thousands of times. Twenty tons of chromium-saturated wastewater is dumped in the Ganges River daily. The solution for fashionistas concerned about the environment is mock or recycled leather and textile handbags, like Daligramme by Lancel.

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