The fashion industry is one of the world’s biggest polluters. Almost 30% of garments produced in the world don’t even end up being worn. 35 million tonnes of garment waste goes to UK landfills each year. The chemicals required to make cotton on an industrial scale are incredibly harmful. But this is not common knowledge. It requires 8500 litres of water and 3 kilograms of chemicals to create 1 single kilogram of cotton. Chemicals are used because cotton is such a pest intensive crop, leading to 25% of global pesticides being produced for cotton production. These pesticides harm wildlife, contaminate water and can also get into food. To put that into perspective, 1KG of cotton will only make you 4 or 5 tee's. 25% of this kilogram of cotton will be lost in the cutting and production process.
At AWU, we take these cotton off-cuts and use them. This cotton on its own does not have the yarn strength required to make clothing so it has to be strengthened. To do so, our products contain recycled PET plastic bottles destined for Indian landfills. This creates a unique and recycled cotton-polyester blend in our garments. As a result, we save 6,000 litres of water, 3.6KG of CO2 emissions, 0.3KG of fertilizer, 0.3KG of chemicals when making our garments. We also repurpose materials that are destined for waste sites into something we think looks pretty wavey.
Our clothes are produced exclusively in India where our work is carried out in multiple textiles factories in the country. All of our partners have received the Global Recycled Standard certification required. As one of the worlds biggest polluters, these factories represent a commitment to ecological balance and sustainable life. Low costs drive the textile industry often at the sake of basic human rights. So it is also incredibly important to us that the factories we work with are so committed to creating an ethical work environment for their employees. Our factories provide employee engagement programmes, regular health check ups and yoga and meditation camps. It is also vital to us that they all have incredibly strict policies on the exclusion of child labour, sexual abuse and harassment.
We are under no illusions of perfection, there are still vital steps to be taken to decrease our carbon footprint on this planet, but we believe that transparency surrounding our production methods is a positive step towards change. So, whenever you wear AWU, you’re promoting the way we see the world and we appreciate you so much for that.
Love AWU x