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Ecology

StepChange Innovations blog covers ecology issues

Detox in the textile industry – real progress or Potemkin villages? Part 2

In this article we cast light on the progress of the Detox campaign in the textile industry. Detox is an initiative started by the environmental activist organization Greenpeace to eliminate hazardous chemicals from the supply chain of global fashion brands. In part 2 we will look a deeper at the progress of Detox at the fashion brands who have received credit for good progress in Detox: H&M, Benetton and Zara (Inditex).
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Detox in the textile industry – real progress or Potemkin villages? Part 1

We cast light on the progress of the Detox campaign in the fashion & textile industry. Detox is an initiative started by Greenpeace to challenge the business practice of global fashion brands who source from suppliers allegedly polluting the environment with hazardous chemicals. Their aim is to eliminate the discharge of hazardous chemicals from the effluents of textile processing factories by the year 2020.
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Dyeing with supercritical CO2 – finally a success story?

Dyeing in supercritical CO2 could finally be on track for success after 25 years of development. Originally an idea of German universities, it was developed and brought to market by the Dutch start-up company DyeCoo. With this innovative, environmentally friendly and water-free dyeing technology, today sportswear textiles made of polyester are produced in Asia for the brands of adidas and Nike.
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The sustainability of organic cotton and GM cotton – part 2 of 2

Organic cotton and genetically modified cotton (GM cotton) are opposite concepts to make cotton more sustainable. In that sense it is the target to reduce water and energy consumption of cotton agriculture and processing, and to reduce the amount of potentially hazardous chemicals, such as pesticides, released into the environment. A lot of totally contracting data can be found to support either one of the concepts, depending how things were examined and by whom studies were funded. This article tries to bring to light some of the issues related to cotton, GM and organic.
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The sustainability of organic cotton and GM cotton – Part 1 of 2

Organic cotton and genetically modified cotton (GM cotton) are opposite concepts to make cotton more sustainable. In that sense it is the target to reduce water and energy consumption of cotton agriculture and processing, and to reduce the amount of potentially hazardous chemicals, such as pesticides, released into the environment. A lot of totally contracting data can be found to support either one of the concepts, depending how things were examined and by whom studies were funded. This article tries to bring to light some of the issues related to cotton, GM and organic.
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Enzymes – an alternative for wet processing of denim

Denim wet processing using chemicals is one of the pollution causing processes in thetextile mills. Textile garment manufactures use numerousbers of acutely toxic chemicals of which many are classified as hazardous. Several denim brands have committed to eliminate the release of all hazardous chemicals throughout its entire supply chain and products. In response to the Greenpeace Detox campaign, a group of major apparel and footwear brands and retailers made a shared commitment to help lead the industry towards zero discharge of hazardous chemicals (ZDHC) by 2020.This report gives an overview of the use of enzymes compared to traditional applications in the garment process of denim fabrics.
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Greenpeace launches another attack on sportswear brands concerning hazardous chemicals

Just weeks before the start of the football World Cup 2014, a newly released Greenpeace report, building up on earlier activities under the detox campaign, found a variety of potentially hazardous chemicals (PFOA, NPEO, and more) in sportswear products of adidas, Nike and Puma. Toxic chemicals were found in almost all football boots, gloves and shirts which were examined.
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Achieving Sustainable Development through Industrial Ecology

Sustainable development integrates social, economic and environmental development. It is defined by the Brundtland Commission as “economic and social development that meets the needs of the current generation without undermining the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” It does not stand in the way of future generations meeting their needs. Industrial Ecology, being a relatively new field, offers methods to assist corporations and organizations to carry out sustainable operations. The interactions between industries and their environment forms industrial ecology which does contribute to sustainable development. It tries to reduce the human impact on nature and aims at sustainable development.
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Enzymes – an eco-friendly alternative for the textile industry?

With the increasingly important requirement for textile manufacturers to reduce pollution in textile production, the use of enzymes in the chemical processing of fibers and textiles is rapidly gaining wider recognition. Enzymes are non-toxic and eco-friendly. They can be safely used in a wide selection of textile processes such as de-sizing, scouring, bleaching, dyeing and finishing, where the traditional alternatives are very harsh chemicals whose disposal into the environment causes many problems. The article gives an introduction to enzyme technology.
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