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Apr 27, 2020 in Analysis

Eco-Fashion and Design

Global environmental ethics is a kind of philosophies that protect and advocate for the existence of both human and non-human. It states that every being, both living and non-living should be given equal chances of survival as nothing including human can survive alone. The ethics call for sustainable utilization of resources such that they will be available for the coming generation. Letting other species extinct for the sake of humanity is wrong. Life will not be easy with more human than other species as meeting basic needs will be an issue.  The environmental issues are in different categories. Libertarian extension calls for civil liberty approach. Its idea is to apply equal rights for all community members, which includes non-human, and non-human. The ecological extension gives priority to human rights but also recognize the essential interdependence of both biological and non-biological beings in their ethics. Conservation ethics looks at the value of the environment into human life. It calls for the sustainable use of resources putting in mind the next generation. It says that it is selfish for the current generation just to use the resources without considering how the next regime will survive.  The concern of Fashion and design industry has been about the aesthetic value of their products. It was a matter of who makes the best models and who sells more. In recent years, the industry has realized the importance of eco-design. The new designs aim at dressing people which reducing the negative impact on the environment. The industry is now using materials that can last longer, can be recycled, and can use little amounts of water and soap to wash. The industry is also putting into consideration the best way to transport their products and reducing waste while producing. These are some of the issues that clients are starting to consider when buying their clothes.

 
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Company employee ethical issues

One way of ensuring the world is a better place for everyone is by creating a working environment that is favorable for everyone. It is important to ensure that the company meets employee's needs. The salary should be in line with the government’s guideline and consideration of the business's profit. It is important to regularly motivate workers by giving tokens when business is doing well. The appreciation will enable them to stand with the institution at low times. It is also important to provide transport for employees. If the business does not own transportation means, it can cooperate with a transportation industry where the company will pay some portion of the fare. This transportation will save the company the issue of lateness as all employees will arrive together and no employee will fail to go to work because they did not have bus fare. Employing workers on permanent terms makes them feel safe. They do not have to fear about being fired anytime.  It is also important to put them under pension scheme even if they have to contribute towards it. These will ensure that they will still have a relatively good life even when they can no longer work. Medical insurance cover is also another thing that an employer should provide.

Child labor has been a practice in China where most companies have been reducing their production cost by employing underage children. These kids have to sleep in common rooms and rationalize their food portions so that they can save some cash to send home. Making tomorrow a better world calls for caring for the minority groups and thus they should have an opportunity to be children and to get an education. A country that does educate its young ones has a better future. It is for this reason that China has started blacklisting industries employing minors. As designers, it is good always to ensure that we do not buy products from blacklisted companies just because their price is low. It is not all about making a profit; we should be selfless and consider the tomorrow of the young generation. The control union is one of the organizations in China that is ensuring transparency in the industries. 

Choice of material

Sustainable fashion production advocates for choosing the best material. The primary type of fibers used in the market is two which are organic and synthetic. Organic, which is also known as natural includes materials such as bamboo, cotton wool, cashmere, hemp, and leather. Polyester, spandex, acrylic, and nylon are synthetic fibers. It is important to choose a material that will match the product and the type of garment. Organic fiber materials are more sustainable tan synthetic one. In further selection, a material that uses a manageable amount of water is a better choice. A garment that can be washed in cold water and does not require a lot of detergents will have a relatively reduced environmental impact the producers should also work in close collaboration with farmers so as to advise them on the produce preferred in the market. Producers will also know the raw material that requires more pesticides than the others and can easily choose. Pesticides finally get their way to the water bodies. Reducing their use by avoiding a product consuming a lot of them is a way of keeping the water pure and healthy for drinking.

The helm trading company (THTC) is one of the businesses that use alternative fibers like hemp that require fewer pesticides than cotton to produce on the farm. It also needs a considerable amount of water to clean. Other designers who are participating in eco-design includes Kate Goldsworthy, who repurpose material into delicate designs that aspect sequin that is laser cut from discarded from food packaging.  Frivolous goods made by Hermes with wealthy status are in eco-fashion design since they produce high-quality material that lasts long. When the material last long, the production will reduce hence, reducing the environmental impacts associated with it.

The three R is a model of environmental conservation in any field. This theory is also being applicable in the fashion and design industry. Reusing is the best environmental friendly way to use what is considered to be the waste. Some of some people want to lose some clothes not because they are in tatters but because they are no longer fashionable and they don't like them anymore. It is good for wear companies to encourage the clients always to donate the clothing to less fortunate in the society. Another way of reusing is when the torn clothing is used to manufacture other things. Their use can be in pillow filling, car insulation, roofing felts, loudspeaker cones, panel linings, and furniture padding. Reducing means using the as minimum amount of substance as possible. These are where the company produces durable clothing such that the people do not have to keep on buying new clothes and disposing of the torn ones.

Recycling is a trend that is being adopted in the textile and fashion industry which designers can take advantage. Fiber reclamation is one of the recycling processes. The mill grade the incoming material into type and color meaning no re-dying takes place saving energy and pollutants. They blend the fiber with other selected fibers which consider the intended use. They are then carded to clean and mixed making it ready for weaving or knitting. The thread may also be useful in mattress production. Econyl produced by Aquafil Company is a type of nylon which is manufactured from waste fishing net and carpets. It is an alternative of Nylon 6 produced from oil. The clothing industries are using it, and it should be s choice of every designer as it helps to conserve the environment. Swimming costumes were the fast to be made from this material which can also be used to produce sportswear, lingerie, and other outdoor clothing. The material can undergo recycling as many times as possible. In recycling polyester based materials, it starts with first cutting materials; they are then granulated and formed into small pellets. The pallets are broken down polymerized and then turned into polyester chips. The chips are then melted and turned into new polyester fabrics. These are materials that one should choose from when selecting synthetic fiber.

Inks and Dyes

Most fabric goes through a wet treatment process which involves de-sizing, rewashing, mercerizing, printing, bleaching and dying. Some of the chemicals and dyes used in the process may release harmful organic compounds into the atmosphere which can be environmentally hazardous. Any cloth producer should avoid dyes that contain heavy metals like cadmium and beryllium. Natural dyes are better as they do not produce greenhouse gasses. It is also important to buy from companies that recycle its waste. It should not be about getting the cheapest dye. A responsible designer should be environmentally conscious.

Manufacturing

Manufacturers have a significant role to play in sustainable designing. They include those producing materials and the ones making clothes.  Manufacturers should aim at reducing their waste products. For example, a dressmaker should ensure they do their calculations properly before cutting the materials and should know the best way to cut without having to leave a big piece of it unused they should also ensure that the waste released to the environment does not contain harmful chemicals.  Designers should also buy their materials from manufacturers that observe clean production and have environmental management certification.

A company may also consider the use of alternative source of energy that is environmental friendly. Solar energy is one of the cheapest and safest sources of electricity. A company should go for a panel that can last for a long time to ensure that they don’t need to dispose of regularly. Trapping solar energy does not produce any greenhouse gas. The Wind is another form of green energy that businesses should adopt. It too does not produce any harmful gasses, and it is recyclable. There should be proper wall and roof insulation to avoid wastage of energy. The factories should regularly do maintenance to their machines to prevent fault production. They should also use the minimum possible amount of energy and water in their process. They should adopt processes that do not consume a lot. They should also ensure they turn off the lights and engines when not in use and avoid leaving running taps. 

Transportation

A large quantity of product should be shipped at once to ensure these industries do not pollute the environment a lot while transporting their goods. While choosing the best mean for international transportation, shipping is the lesser evil as it carries heavy goods. Trains should be preferred for ground transportation because heavy vehicles like trucks have high carbon dioxide emission which contributes considerably to global warming. In China, there is fiber and material platform that is developing regional sourcing strategies. This chain is from raw material procurement to final production and emphasizes on the critical of supply chain partnership.

Education and Awareness

Some companies use any resources at their disposal for they are not aware of the environmental implication of these materials. Numerous platforms in China educate these industries on the preferred and recommended materials like organic cotton, mechanically and chemically recycled polyester, human-made cellulosic, and bio-based, synthesis. This information helps them to make informed decisions. The cloth makers and designers also need to have knowledge of companies that they can buy the materials recommended for them. Most importantly, the customer who is the end use of these products needs enlightenment on the matter. They should be discouraged on fast fashion which is buying wear without having to look at the company making it or the designer. Fast fashion shopping concentrates on the price tag and does not consider any other factor. The consumer ends up with a lot of clothes in their homes which wear out fast and so they have to visit the fabric store regularly.  They should get training on how to differentiate materials and be advised on the best material for wear. They should also be encouraged to buy clothing that has used some dyes as they produce greenhouse gasses. They can identify them by smelling the cloth.

Conclusion

Any effort to conserve the environment is helpful. It is the accumulation of the small amount of carbon dioxide that deplete ozone layer putting human and other species at risk of ultraviolet rays. The small greenhouse gasses accumulate to cause global warming which is a hard process to reverse. Every person and every industry should be environmentally conscious. Any company that is not practicing sustainable development should not operate in the market.  Every measure and step of change starts with individuals.

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