In February 2019 the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee compiled the report ‘Fixing Fashion: Clothing Consumption and Sustainability’ in which they detailed the environmental impact of the fashion industry on the globe.
In what some have coined as the ‘Blue Planet Effect’, it is now impossible to deny that the sustainability agenda within the fashion and textiles industry is at the forefront of all industry discussions. There is a decisive move away from the traditional fast fashion, the ‘wear it once and bin it’ approach of the ’90s and ’00s, toward slow fashion; the act of buying better quality items from brands who recognise their environmental impact and use sustainable fabrics.
One element of discussion under the sustainability umbrella is the use of organic cotton to contribute toward more sustainable textile practices. In the report, the Environmental Audit Committee suggest ‘consumers can play their part by avoiding products with premade rips and tears and seeking sustainable or organic cotton wherever possible.’
So, what is the big deal with organic cotton?
Organic cotton fibres are grown without synthetic fertilisers and toxic pesticides. This process helps to protect fertile soil, which, in turn, locks in CO2 gas, and supports against climate change. In addition, avoiding these harsh chemicals helps to reduce the level of pollutants which make their way into rivers and waterways each year, with disastrous consequences. The Soil Association suggest that an increase in organic cotton production could make a significant contribution to minimising the environmental impact of the fashion industry. It would reduce the use of chemical fertilisers, pesticides, and associated water use. Aboutorganiccotton.org published that in 2015 alone an estimated 218 billion liters of water was saved by farmers growing organic instead of conventional cotton. With the fashion and textiles industry as the ‘thirstiest’ industry on the planet, a move toward organic cotton over conventional upland cotton is a step in the right direction.
A major component of Ventile is Organic Cotton Fabric which accounts for almost of a third of our business and is growing considerably year-on-year. The organic extra-long staple (ELS) cotton used to make Ventile Organic Cotton Fabric, accounts for only 0.04% of overall cotton production worldwide. The raw cotton is sustainably grown without the use of pesticides or chemical fertilisers and uses methods and materials that have a low impact on the environment. For Ventile, slow fashion is not just a recent trend, but one their business is built upon. With this, we have built our reputation as the supplier of choice for global brand names such as J. Crew, Jil Saunders, Barbour and Ralph Lauren, to name a few.
With the move of the industry away from fast fashion and ever closer to a sustainable existence, an investment in Ventile fabric is one with an impact far wider than simply having a new garment to wear.
Join the movement. Love the environment. Choose slow fashion.