April '20

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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3 6 P R I N T W E A R A P R I L 2 0 2 0 T he Sustainable Apparel Coalition's website states that designers and developers have the power to con- trol more than 80% of a product's environmental impact. The production of apparel and textiles requires "hundreds of thousands of factories globally," according to the coalition. So, how do sustainabil- ity and the manufacturing of responsible garments come together in the industry? Experts from AS Colour, econscious, Hanes Activewear, and SanMar share their thoughts on the topic. RESPONSIBLE APPAREL DEFINED After surveying sources, they agree that re- sponsible apparel is clothing that puts en- vironmental and social impact at the fore- front, considering things like supply chains, advocacy, farming practices, manufacturing processes, working conditions, and overall sustainability of the production process of apparel from start to finish. Adrian Duff, senior art director for AS Colour, says responsible apparel is clothing that's made "by brands that have invested in their supply chain, through education and advocacy." Education and advocacy could mean apparel brands looking closer at where and how the cotton is produced to the man- ufacturers making their T-shirts, or educat- ing themselves on how much energy and resources it takes to create a single garment. According to McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm, the total amount of greenhouse gas emissions from textile production amounts to 1.2 billion tons per year. These are the types of issues responsible apparel serves to address. Econscious' brand manager Nicholas Bi- lyk has similar thoughts to Duff on respon- sible apparel. He mentions environmental impact, which involves where the product comes from, as well as the social impact of who makes the product and working condi- tions. He adds, "Responsibly-made apparel mitigates harm to the environment through organic farming and 'clean' processing and manufacturing practices. At the same time, it relies on an ethical supply chain encom- passing fair labor standards and working conditions for employees, as well as a posi- tive impact on the surrounding communi- ties." The Rise of Responsible Apparel A L E X A N D R I A B R U C E

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