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Two solutions for sustainable and ethical fashion

It’s not news that the Planet, today, is affected by many actions of a harmful nature that cause effects under everyone’s eyes such as climate change, water shortages, loss of biodiversity, plastic pollution or deforestation – whether spontaneous or caused by human intervention.

What many people probably don’t know – or wonder – is that these effects are the result of the negative contribution of seemingly “unsuspected” sectors.

Yes, because while it’s obvious to everyone that fossil fuel-using companies are a detriment to the planet, it’s not as readily realized that one of the currently most polluting sectors is the fashion industry.

The impact of clothing on the environment

According to a study by the European Enviroment Agency entitled “Textiles and the Environment – The role of design in Europe’s circular economy,” in 2020 the average consumption of textiles was 15 kilograms per each of us: 6.0 kilograms of clothes and 2.7 kilograms of shoes. These are numbers that, when related to the European population alone, make one’s head spin and suggest well how harmful the impact of fashion brands on the environmental balance is.

In particular, the problems caused by the clothing industry (especially textiles) concern the pollution of water, the atmosphere and resulting from the production of solid waste.

Regarding water, it is worth mentioning that textiles use millions of gallons of water per day to support processes such as fabric washing, bleaching, dyeing, and washing the finished product.

But the problem isn’t in the use of the amount of water, but rather in the fact that the wastewater isn’t adequately treated to remove pollutants from the treatments.

Regarding air pollution, it’s impressive to note that the garment industry accounts for 10 percent of the world’s CO2 emissions and is the second most polluting sector in the world.

Finally, it’s important to note that the textile industry produces an enormous amount of solid waste, so much that 90 million garments end up in landfills worldwide each year.

Toward a “slower” fashion

Many brands, in recent years, have based their production on inexpensive clothes, made from low-quality materials, approved and available simultaneously all over the world.

This type of fashion, referred to by many as “fast-fashion“, when it has moved globally has generated the environmental consequences previously mentioned.

Let us also not forget that often this way of doing business also involves the sensitive area of child labor, with 170 million children engaged in some form of clothing-related labor.

Fortunately, today, many brands are moving toward a slower and more conscious approach to fashion, just as happens with food.

No longer does mere profit take center stage, but a greater focus on human living conditions, the ever-decreasing global resources and, of course, the quality of the product that becomes unique and personalized.

“Drop-stitch or Calatura” and “Made to order”: how to bring sustainability into fashion

Desigknit gives the highest attention to an attitude that is environmentally friendly and at the same time privileges high product quality. That’s why, as happens to other brands that pay attention to the human aspect of their work, it has chosen to base its production on two solutions that look at ethics and quality: Made to order and drop-stitch (in Italian “Calatura”).

Made to order, that is the production based only on garments actually ordered, avoids the production of goods that will go unsold and thus could negatively impact the environment in terms of material poured into landfills.

Drop-stitch (in Italian “Calatura”) is a technique by which knitting machine needles are lowered (or scaled) to create curves and turns in the weave, such as on the neckline or armhole, finishing the garment cleanly and precisely. This method makes possible to create cloths that are already shaped to the required shape in the garment and thus increases the quality of each individual garment. However, the quality aspect isn’t the only advantage offered by the technique of calatura: in fact, this technique allows zero waste in the use of material, because not an ounce more yarn is used than necessary.