The world’s first carbon footprint label for clothing is launched
onto the UK fashion retail market. Consumers in the UK will for the first time learn about the carbon footprint of their clothing.
Ethical and eco-chic manufacturer, Continental Clothing, working with the Carbon Trust, is launching this week the world’s first Carbon Reduction Label for textile products.
The new label will show the carbon footprint of the entire lifecycle of the clothes, from raw materials and manufacturing, through to consumer use and disposal.
Continental Clothing has spearheaded the footprinting of textile products under the Carbon Trust’s pilot programme aimed to deliver low carbon economy. The project is part of Defra’s action plan for sustainable clothing launched at last month’s London Fashion Week by Sustainability Minister Lord Hunt.
Lord Hunt, Minister for Sustainable Development and Energy Innovation, and Deputy Leader of the House of Lords, said:
“Continental Clothing's Carbon Reduction Label is an innovative idea as part of the Defra-coordinated Sustainable Clothing Action Plan. The label is a great way to give consumers clear information about the environmental impact of their clothes throughout their lifecycle - from manufacturing right through to washing and disposal - so they can be confident in the sustainability of their clothing choices.”
The label will be displayed on a range of printed T-shirt and sweatshirts, and will inform the consumer of the total lifecycle footprint as well as their own contribution through washing, tumble-drying and ironing. It will put a number on the reductions that can be achieved by consumers through changing their washing, drying and ironing routines.
The footprinting study has shown that as much as ½ of the total footprint of clothing can come from consumers’ home laundry activities, a particular hotspot being the tumble-drying, which produces twice the emissions of automatic washing. Avoiding tumble-drying and ironing could reduce the total footprint by as much as one third overall.
Continental Clothing have played their part in driving the positive change by reducing the CO2 emissions from the manufacturing stages by an impressive 90% through the use of renewable energy and low-footprint production approach.
Philip Charles Gamett, director, Continental Clothing, said:
"Fashion is all about timing. We’ve been working to raise awareness on environmental and social issues for the last few seasons but we didn’t feel like the timing was quite right to take a stand on Climate Change itself. Few people were talking about reducing carbon emissions in the fashion industry - they didn't know it's possible. But now Continental Clothing have demonstrated irrefutably that it’s possible to achieve up to a 90% carbon reduction in the manufacture of clothing, and that it is possible to do it today, without waiting until 2050.”
An in-depth analysis of the product footprint reveals the various impacts through all the stages of the supply chain, pointing to the critical elements in the clothing production. The details will be of interest to anyone from product designers, supply chain and logistics managers to corporate social responsibility gurus.
Mariusz Stochaj, head of products, Continental Clothing, said:
“This is big news. We have, for the first time, accurate measurements of the greenhouse gas emissions of every component part that makes up the finished garment. Knowing the facts and understanding the environmental impacts of all the components of the product opens the door to delivering sustainable clothing by incorporating environmental considerations from the early design stages.”
The Carbon Reduction Labelled range of T-shirts and sweatshirts is available in the UK through Adili.com
Adam Smith, CEO, Adili.com, commented:
“We are committed to offering customers an ethical clothing choice. Where we source our clothing, how it is produced and of course its carbon impact is vitally important. The work that Continental Clothing has done to measure and reduce the carbon footprint of these T-shirts enables us to be completely transparent about their environmental impact. This is an important message in this for consumers.”