The fashion industry is responsible for more than 8% of total global carbon emissions (UN, 2019). This is an alarming data for the 43 leading global companies, including Textil Santanderina, who have signed the UN Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action (2018) with the aim of reducing emissions by 50% by 2030, and neutral on 2050 or before.
Customers on their side are increasingly demanding a higher commitment with the environment to the brands and companies they buy from. Denmark became the country with the highest increase in the world for online searches for “sustainable fashion” in 2020. Specifically, searches related to sustainable clothing increased by 114% in this European country. Australia and Germany ranked second and third, respectively.
This leads us to wonder, what actions can we take, as a textile mill, to reduce our carbon emissions?
1. Carbon neutralisation
At global level, we participate in different projects:
– European Union’s Zero Pollution program, whose goal is to reduce pollution by 2050, including air, water and soil pollution, so that it is reduced to levels that are no longer considered harmful for health or natural eco-systems. (https://environment.ec.europa.eu/strategy/zero-pollution-action-plan_e)
– Working Group 1 on Decarbonisation to face the potential damages of textile production in the frame of the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action of the United Nations Climate Change Agency.
At local level, we have invested over 500,000 € in 2020 into installing photovoltaic cells in 2020, which has led to a reduction of 748.39 T eq CO2 emissions.
2. Supply chain performance
Companies must review their supply chain to work towards a greener future, and improve transparency and traceability regarding the materials used and the manufacture of each product. At Textil Santanderina we are committed to “Made in Europe” fabrics to reduce our impact and carbon footprint. We manufacture in proximity to the textile hubs and Brands, in order to reduce the amount of freight, transportation, of the raw materials… and counting with proximity suppliers too, in order to secure a shorter, safer and more efficient supply chain. (Our “Made in Europe” initiative will be detailed in a separate article soon)
3. Investments in innovative processes and alternative materials
Millions of garments are produced worldwide every year. Making each piece requires large amounts of water (according to the UN, it is estimated that a single pair of jeans consumes 7,500 litres of water). Textil Santanderina works in processes and finishes that considerably reduce water consumption both in dyeing (Ecolandye Pluss) and finishing (Iris Flow) with more than 65% water saving. We keep working to develop new finishes and processes that guarantee higher optimisation of resources.
Finding alternatives to materials that have a negative impact on the environment is essential. We have specialized over the year in natural fibres such as Tencel™, linen, hemp or recycled cotton whose cultivation and manufacturing process meet the requirements of a more sustainable fashion.
4. Integration of new business models
Back in 2017, voices such as the Global Fashion Agenda were inviting all companies to move towards a more circular model. Fashion Circularity is currently at the heart of numerous regulations to build more sustainable production and consumption models, in which all items can be re-used or are fully degradable.
In this line, our S360º process is a clear example of re-using textile waste in the manufacture of new fabrics.
The success of our S360º circular production process is based on the formation of alliances and the search for synergies with other organisations; we are currently working with Hub Circular Economy, EURATEX and other associations.
5. People’s wellbeing at the center of our actions
Increasingly critical citizens echo climate emergency consequences and are willing to drive change at all levels.
As our R&D+I team investigates and suggests new progresses, the whole team is giving its best to train and learn new skills to implement these in our daily tasks. A good example is our Weaving a Better World initiative, which details a Green Transition Plan and a Digital Transformation plan to integrate more innovation, more energy efficiency, and a better use of resources in our decisions.
In Textil Santanderina we are fully aware of the urgency to take action, and we commit to work on all aspects detailed above to reduce the footprint of our activity.