Climate change is not an opinion, it is a fact. According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the fashion industry emits 1.2 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases per year, and this figure is rising. In China, it is estimated that at least 70% of the rivers and lakes are already highly polluted by the textile sector. Moreover, the Earth's natural resources are limited and, given their capacity, some of them can be renewed in months or years. With all these facts in hand, don't you think we should take a break and start producing and consuming more slowly? Without rushing, appreciating what we have and valuing everything there is behind a garment.
If you have come this far and have taken a look at our sustainability content, you will see that, since we started our journey, we have not stopped trying to improve the way we work. The sustainability label is not just about making jeans from recycled cotton or using renewable energy, it goes much further than that. That's why we are opening one more point in all that our work entails, we are talking about Neo - Recycling, a research and development project for products and technologies with low environmental impact applied to the manufacturing process.
The project that will change the way of manufacturing
The textile sector is currently in the process of evolving towards greater environmental sustainability at all stages of production, but without losing the essence of tradition and product quality. This cocktail of tradition and R&D, which at first sight may seem impossible, is becoming a reality with studies and analyses.
The Neo-Recycling project aims to research new materials for the finishing of garments, technologies and dyeing processes that allow us to develop much more sustainable jeans productions and finishes.
To take this step we revolutionized three activities:
1. Working with renewable materials in the manufacturing process that are low impact.
2. Implementing new, more sustainable technologies, in addition to the ones we currently work with.
3. Develop and validate the solutions we have obtained to minimize our carbon footprint.
Use of renewable materials in the production process
Working with renewable materials at any stage of the value chain will allow us to reduce the environmental impact generated by processes and products. Therefore, we will start using new natural dyes of vegetable origin. In addition, we will also work with auxiliary products such as softeners, soaps or ionizers, among others, made with bio-based components from natural sources such as resins and enzymes.
New, more sustainable technologies:
Thanks to the Neo-Recycling project, we are going to work with new processes and technologies that will allow us to achieve much more sustainable garments. From the manufacturing process to the transformation and revaluation of waste.
In addition, thanks to micro nebulisation, we are going to create a completely sustainable dyeing process that will consist of using natural products, for example, dyeing with bacteria. This process consists of the extraction of colour and concentration of microorganisms.
Do you remember the section where we talked about circularity? We told you what we did with our surpluses from pre-consumption, post-consumption and waste management. With this project, we are taking another step towards circularity, as we are going to manage our surpluses in a more sustainable way.
With the collaboration of the companies FERRE and RECOVER, we intend to recover our pre-consumer and post-consumer textile waste in order to reuse it in the manufacture of new garments. To ensure that all our surplus returns in the form of recycled fabric, it will be necessary to study the quality of the new yarn and whether it meets our quality standards. In this way, we would achieve a totally circular process.
As for waste management, thanks to the help of AITEX, we are going to develop a process that allows us to recover this waste in order to reuse it in the form of powder, which would result in new uses in other industries.
This project implies a methodological and conceptual revolution within our sector. That is why it is very important for us to start up the Neo-Recycling project as, with this process, we are taking another step towards sustainability.