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SUSTAINABLE FASHION AND RESPONSIBLE PRODUCTION

sustainable and fair fashion made of wood


Today, the clothing industry stands for fast fashion. While the total sales of clothes in 2002 was already at around 1 trillion dollars, the amount has almost doubled and by 2015 risen to 1.8 trillion dollars. However, at the same time the appreciation of fashion fell rapidly. Fashion products, which are very labor- and resource-intensive, are meanwhile almost valueless from the buyer's perspective and are often disposed of after being worn only a few times.


In our opinion, clothes should become more valued again – with respect to each individual work step in the production process, but also regarding the selection of the resources that are processed.

With our wooden fashion we are pursuing a new path and show that clothes can also be produced in an environmentally friendly, local and fair way.

 

A closer look at the fashion industry in recent years reveals that two resources are the basis of today's textile production: Polyester and cotton. At over 60 %, more than half of all fibres used worldwide are made from synthetic (i. e. oil-based) components. 25 % of the fibres are made of cotton, with organic cotton accounting for only about 1 % of the total. The remaining 15 % of the fibres consist of wool, cellulose-based fibres and other natural fibres such as hemp or linen.

 

used fibre for apparel

 

Because of the immense surge in clothing consumption, the demand for inexpensive resources has also risen. As a result, the production of synthetic fibres based on crude oil and the use of pesticides and fertilizers in cotton grew to a new level.

 

 

ECOLOGICAL WOODEN T-SHIRTS – WHY WOOD IS A VALUABLE RESOURCE

The wood for our ecological wooden t-shirts is exclusively sourced from certified sustainable forestry from Austria, Germany or the Czech Republic. Contrary to popular expectations, Europe's forests are growing thanks to sustainable forestry. In Germany alone, forest growth has been 7 % in the last 10 years. Throughout Europe, the forest area increased by 17.5 million hectares between 1990 and 2015.

for our exofriendly fashion we use wood from sustainable forestry

 

 

BUT WHAT EXACTLY DOES SUSTAINABLE FORESTRY MEAN?

Sustainable forestry aims to utilize forests but at the same time conserve them. Forests play a vital role in protecting water and soil because they increase the water retention capacity of the soil and protect it against erosion. At the same time, forests serve as habitats for a wide variety of animal and plant species. In addition, trees are of great significance for climate protection. They serve as CO2 storage systems and it is assumed that 49 % of all CO2s is right now stored in trees. By transforming trees into wooden products, this CO2 content is preserved until the wood is biodegraded. Consequently, all wood products contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. This amounts to 105 million tons of CO2 equivalents per year.

 

wijld is also actively involved in regions of the world where the forests are currently not doing as well as in Europe. That is why we support a reforestation project in Mexico with the help of our customers.

 

Therefore, we work together with a partner who has already planted more than 14 billion trees worldwide. We have decided to give something back to nature by planting a tree for each order on wijld.com. More information can be found here.

 

WHY WOODEN CLOTHING IS ECO-FRIENDLIER THAN COTTON

In contrast to ordinary cotton, there is already a significant difference in eco-friendliness when it comes to planting trees. While forestry does not require the use of additional fertilizers to produce wood fibre, cotton is cultivated using various fertilizers and pesticides. The substances used, such as Aldicarb, have a strong environmental impact and contribute to freshwater and soil pollution. This pesticide causes more than 80 % of the freshwater pollution caused by the agricultural land.

 

with just one WoodShirt we save 1000 liter of water

 

In addition, the high-water consumption caused by artificial irrigation of the cotton plantations in areas with low rainfall even leads to considerable lasting ecological damage (e. g. drying out of the Aral Sea). In contrast, trees in our forests do not have to be artificially irrigated and help storing water in the soil for longer periods and in greater quantities than the equivalent open fields.

Another advantage of our resource wood is its acreage. For the same volume of fibres, cotton on average requires between 300-500 % more acreage than our wood fibres. Additionally, it is not necessary to cultivate forests first, as is the case with monocultures such as cotton.

 

fashion made of wood is more sustainable than cotton clothing 

HOW DO YOU TURN WOOD INTO CLOTHES?

The production process of viscose fibers, developed in the 1890s can be called the origin of our wooden fabric. However, the production process of viscose fiber has also some disadvantages. Carbon disulfide is often used as a solvent, which is known to be environmentally harmful and usually very resource-intensive.

 

On the other hand, the process by which we produce our fibres from wood is particularly eco-friendly compared to other cellulose-based regenerated fibres.

  

In an initial step, cellulose is extracted from our resource wood. The pulp is then dissolved in an organic, environmentally friendly N-methylmorpholine-N-oxide (NMO) by dehydration without chemical modification. At this point it is important to mention that toxic chemicals such as the above-mentioned carbon disulfide (CS2) are not used for the whole process. The cellulose pulp is then filtered and finally pressed through the spinning glands. The resulting fibres are then dissolved in a bath with a water-based NMO mixture and then combined as our fibre cable.

The organic solvent can always be recycled as it is easily removed from the fibre due to its good water blending capacity. For this reason, the organic solvent can also be used again and again in the closed manufacturing cycle. This makes our fibre production very eco-friendly and furthermore saves valuable resources.

 

 

how we manufacture sustainable fashion from wood

 

 

SAVING RESOURCES WITH ECO-FRIENDLY WOODEN T-SHIRTS

How many resources can be saved, can be easily illustrated by comparing the water usage up to the finished wood fibre with that of cotton fibres.

To produce 1 kg of wood fibres, 0.02 m3 processing water and 0.243 m3 cooling water are required. In comparison, until the cotton fibre has been produced from the cotton plant, only 0.005 m3 of processing water and 0.037 m3 of cooling water were used, but a total of 5.69 m3 of water was used for watering the plant. In fact, 70 % of this water comes from underground water and only 30 % from surface water. Overall, the water requirements for the cotton fibre production alone is 10-20 times higher than for our wood fibres. Excluding the cooling water, the cotton fibre production is 100-500 % higher than for our wood fibres. Finally, most of the water used in our fibre production is used for cooling purposes only and is returned to surface waters without any contamination

 

we save 75% CO2 with sustainable clothing made of wood

 

The energy balance of the wood fibre production process is also impressive. Up to our final wood fibre, only 0.1 kg of CO2 is released per kilogram of fibre produced, while in cotton fibre production 2 kg of CO2 is produced per kilogram of fibre. This means that the use of wood fibers compared to cotton fibers can reduce CO2 emissions by a factor of 20. It is also important to mention that the used energy for our wood fibre production is almost exclusively obtained from the utilisation of waste products (such as bark and brine), more precisely 86.3 % of the fuels used are not fossil and CO2-neutral..

 

 

Together with you, our partners and customers, we would like to show that special and unique fashion can be produced in an environmentally friendly, local and fair way to help protect the environment and improve the working and living conditions of all people. Be part of this mission.