Textile and sustainability: two compatible worlds?
Sustainability issues are the order of the day, with growing consumer concern. But does the textile sector have the capacity to reinvent itself and be more environmentally friendly?
We just have to look at the numbers to realize that. At least, that an effort is being made in this direction.
In fact, according to the Sustainable Edit 2019 study, between August 2018 and July this year there was an increase of about 49% in fashion products described as “ecological”, an increase of more than 170% in “recycled” products and 70% in “vegans”.
In addition, there is an increase in the use of greener raw materials, which contribute to reduce the environmental impact of the sector. Resources include organic cotton (which has no chemicals or pesticides) and the use of recycled or reused fabrics in denim production (which nets the chemicals while saving water and energy).
No less important in the paradigm shift is the change in consumer behavior. In this sense, consumers seem to be more open to paying a higher price for a product that is sustainable – and that is in fashion – and, over the last few years, more brands aimed at the mass market have integrated sustainable elements into their ranges to meet consumer demand.
All these factors seem to be being taken into account by the Portuguese textile industry, which seeks to position itself as a leader in sustainability.
In a recent interview with the newspaper Dinheiro Vivo, the president of the Associação Têxtil e Vestuário de Portugal (ATP) reveals that one of the major goals for the future is that the sector consumes only electricity from renewable sources, aiming to be “the first manufacturing sector in which all companies use renewable energy”.