The Life Of Twine: The Journey Of Your Hoodie From Its Creation To You – Fresh Cuts Clothing
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The Life Of Twine: The Journey Of Your Hoodie From Its Creation To Your Closet

Posted on September 20 2017

As you look through your wardrobe, at the masses of stripes, spots or whatever you’re having yourself, the same old question is generally posed — ‘what am I going to wear?’

This question is, more often than not, ultimately answered. Your favourite hoodie, naturally.

But what about those other questions that are left hanging there? Questions like, ‘who made my clothes?’ and ‘where do they come from?’

These answers are, unfortunately, not as easily sourced or as transparent as the blouse that you’re wearing under your hoodie.

The truth is, you more than likely don’t know the lengths that your hoodie has travelled to reach your closet. From the harvesting of its raw materials to the design stages, followed by the manufacturing process, all before its arrival at its retail destination.

 

People, places and things.


Most of our hoodies are made from cotton, the world’s most important non-food crop. 99% of its farmers live in the Global South, heavily populated in China and India. This industry is the lifeblood of over 160 million people but it has a pretty ugly story.

In order to facilitate the world of fast fashion and the likes of a €10 RRP hoodie habit, immense pressure is put on farmers to produce Genetically Modified Cotton. GMC makes up a grand total of 99% of cotton produced annually.

In order to produce this vast amount toxic pesticides are used to spray the crop. This can cause migraines, skin and lung disease and cancer. In India, more than 1 million farmers are hospitalised every year due to pesticide poisoning.

The mental health side effects are equally evident with suicide rising at an alarming rate amongst Indian cotton farmers. According to India’s National Crime Records Bureau, more than 270,000 Indian farmers have taken their own lives since the mid-1990s. This shocking figure can be attributed, at large, to the immense financial pressure put on farmers from the widespread use of genetically modified cotton.

This fashion is fast and it’s furious. It holds no prisoners. Yet there is little but a straw in the wind of change from the CEOs and owners of the companies that produce fast fashion.

The conclusion? Cheap hoodies means cheap labour, cheap materials and a raw deal for the environment.

 

Chinese burn

 

China’s story is almost exactly the same. With the world’s biggest population, Chinese workers are known for their skills in the garment industry. You can only imagine the energy used in creating these clothes for export; consuming large amounts of water in manufacturing leads to an incredibly high matter of industrial wastewater.

Garments are pre-treated with chemicals to give your hoodie its colour, and the finishing details (logo, printed slogan, embellishment etc.). There’s a significant number of steps involved.

While cotton is India’s mainstay, China produces the largest amount of synthetic and man-made materials – the fibre of the fast fashion hoodie is not the fibre of an ethical society.

The Fair Ware Foundation recently carried out a study (China Country Study 2013) revealing that over 10 million people were working in the textile industry in China. Ready-to-wear exports accounted for more than 150 billion dollars but the workers rarely make enough to live above the breadline, living on less than $2 a day in some instances.

Makes you think about how far you’re really stretching that €10 doesn’t it?

 

So what about that 1%

 

Despite what seems like popular belief and, popular practice, organic cotton does actually widely exist, and is extremely easy to access. With a softer feel and a more durable quality, it is, by far, superior to its GMC counterpart – and that’s just for consumers. For farmers, the benefits of organic cotton, are so much more.

Despite what seems like popular belief and, popular practice, organic cotton does actually widely exist, and is extremely easy to access. With a softer feel and a more durable quality, it is, by far, superior to its GMC counterpart – and that’s just for consumers. For farmers, the benefits of organic cotton, are so much more.

Aside from escaping the immediate health risks of pesticides, organic cotton helps to empower small scale farmers financially too. By using natural seed, farmers can work within their limitations. This way they do not have to controlled by large corporations whose only interest in mass production and profit.

It’s good news for the environment too. According to www.cottonedon.org  “organic cotton is grown using methods and materials that have a positive impact on the environment. Organic production systems replenish and maintain soil fertility, expand biologically diverse agriculture”.

So, if you hadn’t before, it’s time you cottoned on!

 

Closet confidential

 

Nobody wants to feel ashamed about their fashion choices, am I right? Making changes in the fashion industry can seem like an overwhelming prospect but change can start in the personal sphere. By avoiding fast fashion, you’re doing your bit to change the world, one hoodie at a time. Captain Planet would approve.

 

You can help too

 

Eschewing the fast fashion industry isn’t always easy, but it is straightforward: Investing a little bit more in your clothing means that not only are you supporting fairer wages and ethical manufacturing, you’re also getting durable, long-lasting and better quality clothes.

Is that such a tall order? I think not. Sometimes slowing things down is the best choice.

Viva le Revolution!

 

 

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