The debate at the Copenhagen Climate Conference at the end of last year is still reverberating. Blizzard hit North China at the beginning of this year. Experts said that blizzard was not ruled out to be related to global warming. "Low carbon economy" is the focus of the Copenhagen discussion and will eventually be implemented into the actions of individuals and enterprises.
China has put forward the goal of reducing carbon emissions (carbon intensity) per unit of GDP by 40%~45% on the basis of 2005 by 2020. It is not difficult to achieve this goal, which requires the joint efforts of all walks of life, including the clothing industry. Wang Yong, the marketing director of Zuoan Clothing, said in an interview with the First Financial Daily that although there is no clear emission reduction requirement for the clothing industry at present, the clothing "low-carbon" should be paid attention to.
"Low carbon" is not a slogan
Low carbon clothing is a broad concept of clothing environmental protection, which refers to the method of lower total carbon emissions in the process of consuming all clothing, including selecting clothing with low total carbon emissions, selecting clothing made of recyclable materials, and increasing clothing utilization and reducing total clothing consumption.
On December 9, 2009 local time, taking advantage of the momentum of the Climate Summit, 20 Nordic designers jointly released the "Environmental Fashion Show" in Copenhagen. The clothing materials on display for men's wear are all biodegradable natural materials.
In contrast, natural fabrics such as cotton and hemp are not artificially synthesized from petroleum and other raw materials like chemical fibers, so they consume less energy and generate fewer pollutants. The fabric made of hemp fiber is more environmentally friendly than cotton. Research from Melbourne University shows that hemp cloth has 50% less ecological impact than cotton cloth. The cloth made of bamboo fiber and flax also saves more water and pesticides than cotton cloth in the production process.
Some well-known brands have started to introduce environment-friendly clothing. Sweden's H&M brand has introduced organic cotton clothing. In addition, organic wool, recycled wool, polyester and other fabrics have also been introduced. These clothes will be hung in each department of H&M by category, with special labels. Giorgio Armani also used linen and grain fiber as raw materials. GUESS jeans are made of organic cotton. The washing process of each pair of pants also uses a small amount of chemical substances and simple washing methods. Even the label is printed with 100% recycled paper and soybean (information, market) ink, which is completely in line with the principle of environmental protection.
During the Copenhagen Climate Conference, a Copenhagen round table forum entitled "Saving the Earth · China's Power" attracted many people's attention. Hong Jinshan, the chief designer of Left Bank Costume, issued the "Green Declaration of Left Bank Citizens" on the forum, which explained what a conscience free design is, that is, in the creation process, natural, renewable and recyclable materials are selected, and the creation method will not cause pollution and harm to the environment; Finally, create a beautiful living environment for everyone.
Hong Jinshan explained that, taking a pure cotton T-shirt as an example, from the cotton planting process, to the garment manufacturing process, to the sales terminal, and after being washed, dried and ironed for many times (25 times) by consumers after being bought home, the whole process will emit about 7kg of carbon dioxide, that is to say, the 200 gram pure cotton T-shirt will emit about 30 times of its own weight of carbon dioxide throughout its life. The carbon emissions of chemical fiber fabrics will be higher. For example, if a 100% polyester trousers has a service life of two years, including production and consumption, the total carbon emissions will be about 47 kg, equivalent to 117 times its own weight.
Hong Jinshan hoped that fashion designers would use less leather products and chemical fiber fabrics. Toxic substances including formaldehyde, coal tar, dyes and cyanide were used in leather processing. To increase softness and water resistance, leather is tanned. Most leather is tanned with chrome salts such as chrome sulfate, resulting in chrome containing waste. In addition, the leather production process consumes a lot of water and energy, which cannot be biodegraded after tanning, and is also very harmful to the environment. Chemical fiber clothing is artificially synthesized from petroleum and other raw materials. Its production process requires a lot of energy and water, and produces pollutants. For example, according to the energy consumption standard of acrylic clothing, if 5 tons of standard coal are consumed per ton of clothing, buying 0.5 kg less acrylic clothing can reduce 5.7 kg CO2. Moreover, the chemical fiber itself is not easy to degrade, which does not meet the requirements of environmental protection.
From the perspective of consumers, through mixing and matching old and new clothes, the reuse rate of clothes can be improved to extend the service life of clothes. In addition, during the use of clothes, the number of washing times shall be reduced as far as possible, and hand washing shall be used instead of washing machine. Washing clothes is inevitable, while drying can be avoided. Reducing the washing temperature and changing drying to natural drying can reduce clothes ironing and energy consumption.
"It is not enough for low-carbon clothing to only use environment-friendly materials, but also to move closer to the 5R principle of environmental protection, so as to truly implement Reduce (energy conservation and pollution reduction), Evaluate (environmentally friendly purchase), Reuse (reuse), Re cycle (classified recycling), Rescue (ensure the coexistence of nature and all things)." Hong Jinshan said.
Wang Yong told this newspaper that the company has not only advocated, but also put into practice. Zuo'an launched the concept and product of paper jacket in last autumn and winter. This jacket is made of the latest pulp environment-friendly fabric through a unique production process. After the treatment of glue coating, the paper jacket has the functions of waterproof and windproof. It is washable, can be worn repeatedly, and is highly breathable and not easy to tear. The paper jacket will be completely decomposed and melted after being buried in the soil for a period of time. "Although the cost of such fabrics is about 1/3 higher than that of ordinary fabrics, the price of the stores is the same as that of other products, and they are out of stock within one month after being put on the market." During the conversation, Wang Yong was proud of these achievements.
Seeking the balance between environmental protection and business
Since 2008, Zuo'an Garments has started a "green lighting plan" in nearly 1000 stores across the country, mainly including replacement of lighting fixtures, improvement of lighting systems and planning of lighting periods. Wang Yong said that compared with the past, this saved 65% of electricity consumption and greatly reduced carbon emissions.
Zuo'an Garments is also promoting a reward. Customers who buy more than 1500 yuan in the store have the opportunity to get a green, fashionable and environment-friendly bicycle worth 350 yuan. This bike was also transported to Copenhagen last year, and Hong Jinshan rode it to Copenhagen Avenue.
With the help of authoritative institutions, Zuo'an Garments is ready to conduct a more accurate measurement of clothing carbon emissions from fabric procurement, the entire production process to final consumption, and then gradually introduce environmental friendly clothing series with carbon emission labels to gradually reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
Wang Yong said that in this environmental protection series of clothing, the "carbon emissions" of each clothing will be measured specifically, and young consumers are encouraged to pay for their own carbon emissions when buying clothing.
Style, quality and price are still the main considerations for consumers to choose clothing. Will consumers pay for "low carbon"? Wang Yong expressed confidence in this, because the consumer group of Zuo'an Clothing is targeted at men with a sense of social responsibility aged 25-38, who will pay attention to environmental protection.
The introduction of environmentally friendly clothing will undoubtedly increase R&D investment, which will undoubtedly affect sales if transferred to product prices. Wang Yong said that the R&D investment is indeed higher than that of ordinary clothing enterprises, but not much higher. For example, the R&D investment of paper jackets will be transferred to brand building, which is not borne by consumers.
Wang Yong believes that for enterprises, commercial interests are really important. Although the market, government and consumers have no clear requirements for "low carbon" clothing, the country will definitely introduce "carbon emission reduction standards" for clothing industry in the future. Zuoan Clothing will take the lead and hope to exchange the current investment for the future market.
Perhaps so, the clothing enterprises in the future may no longer be those who sell more and who sell more will be more profitable, but those whose materials and processes are greener, less harmful to the environment, and who can win more markets. In the future, there may be many new profit models. Some enterprises will make money through various value-added services of clothing, such as training customers on how to match, how to match more clothes, and how to match old clothes with new clothes to create fashion effects; Help customers recycle old clothes; Even organize customers to make clothes themselves, etc.
The power of a single enterprise is limited. Wang Yong calls on more enterprises and individuals to join the ranks of "low carbon" clothing. Everyone will discuss "how to quantify", and finally issue a set of industry standards to form an easy to operate method.