Apr 22, 2015
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​China's sustainable fashion leaders reducing their ecological footprint

Apr 22, 2015

Thirty-three Chinese textile mills, some of the biggest in the company and which produce apparel for some of the biggest brands, have said that they saved 14.7 million dollars by cutting their use of water, electricity and chemical products.

The mills are part of the NRDC’s (Natural Resources Defense Council) Clean By Design program, a global model for manufacturing sustainability that is working with major fashion retailers and designers to green the fashion supply chain industry-wide.


The manufacturing companies include big groups like Target, Gap, H&M and Levi Strauss on their client roster. The improvements made in 2014 thanks to the program include a 36% savings in water use, 22% in electricity and no less than 400 tons of chemicals.

"Great fashion can also be green fashion. Although apparel manufacturing is among the largest polluting industries in the world, it doesn’t have to be," said Linda Greer, Ph.D., NRDC senior scientist and director of Clean By Design. "There are enormous opportunities for the fashion industry to clean up its act while saving money, and Clean By Design offers low-cost, high-impact solutions to do just that."

Over the past two decades, China has become the epicenter of global manufacturing, and it currently produces more than 50 percent of the world’s fabric, totaling more than 80 billion meters annually. As a result, the country is suffering from increasingly serious pollution problems while also contributing significant carbon into the atmosphere.

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