Textile companies Recover and Polopiqué have partnered in an initiative to achieve sustainable manufacturing.
The two companies will work together to incorporate Recover’s cotton fiber into Polopiqué’s textile process. In doing so, the companies hope to “support brands and retailers at every step in the supply chain and create an easy solution for brands to produce fully sustainable apparel, at scale”.
Recover cotton is an alternative to the unsustainable practices that are used when creating traditional cotton. Although cotton is more biodegradable than polyester, its carbon emissions are around 220 million metric tons annually, according to online environmental information platform Trvst. The synthetic fertilizers used to grow the plant releases nitrous oxide into the atmosphere, and deforestation is often an associated issue. Conservation organisation World Wildlife Fund found that 2,700 litres of water is used when making a single cotton t-shirt.
Further issues that complicate the sustainable value of cotton include the dyeing process which can harm wildlife, the environment and the human population. Pesticides have also been linked to health issues in farmers and people living close to cotton farms - the pesticide Glyphosate can cause congenital disabilities and according to the FDA has been found in foods.
The method that Recover uses to create its low impact cotton reduces the associated environmental hazards. Utilising recycled cotton fibers, Recover saves around 14,740 litres of water per 1 kilogram of cotton. Trvst names the average water footprint as around 20,000 litres per kilogram. Recover’s process also limits carbon emissions, and reduces the land used for farming.
In 2016, Recover took part in an academic study by the University of Valencia which analysed its claim of sustainable cotton. The outcome concluded that Recover cotton provided a circular life for cotton, due to the recycled fibres, and avoided the environmental effects of dyeing the fabric. The company has also partnered with other actors in order to continue developing circular solutions that will increase the sustainability of its cotton.
Polopiqué’s products already contain at least fifty percent organic cotton and GRS certified recycled polyester. Recover’s low-impact recycled cotton fiber will reduce Polopiqué’s environmental impact even further.
The Recover and Polopiqué partnership increases both companies’ global reach and proximity to consumers, and will also bring the opportunity to brands to increase their own sustainability, they said.