Fabric Focus from the Green Carpet Challenge

20 Jan

The last thing I expected whilst watching the Golden Globe Awards last Sunday was to get an education in sustainable fabrics. Current Hollywood hunk Bradley Cooper gra

Eco-Tux

Bradley Cooper in OEKO-TEX

ced the red carpet in an ‘eco-tux’ by Tom Ford. This was an answer to Liv Firth’s (Colin Firth’s Wife) Green Carpet Challenge. This is its fourth year running but the first time that it has drawn attention to men’s’ eco-fashion. Though I am quite sure the price was nowhere near ‘eco’ nor ‘friendly’ the wool used to make the suit is OEKO-TEX® certified, an acronym I won’t even venture trying to pronounce.
“OEKO-TEX® Standard 1000 is a testing, auditing and certification system for environmentally friendly operations in the textile and clothing industry”
Source: OEKO-TEX

The uniqueness of this standard of testing comes in that it not only looks at the environmental impact of textile manufacturing it also looks at the social aspect. These criteria include
1. Substitution and omission of chemicals, pesticides and dyes.
2. Health and safety of the manufacturing process in terms of noise, chemicals, emergency procedures, safety training and even dust levels!
(this is the part I found most curious…)
3. Social practices: child labor, wage legislations, workplace discrimination and forced labor.
You will agree with that the social aspect must be quite difficult to qualify and yet here they are, adding it to a textile standardizing process. It is a standard that is applied to all things textile and therefore spans more than just the fashion industry; it is used in textile flooring, furniture and the motor industry.
Below are the categories used
I = baby products (up to age three – 36 months)
II = products having skin contact (blouses, shirts, underwear)
III = products having no skin contact (coats, lined cloths)
IV = furnishings (table wear, furniture coverings, curtains, textile flooring, mattresses)

So the next time you see this curious acronym, you will know what it stands for and know that the manufacturer or retailer is doing their part towards a sustainable future.

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