The textile and sustainability manager at The European Confederation of Flax and Hemp (CELC), Marie Demaegdt, has said she welcomes targets fashion group Inditex has set for linen.
Inditex chief executive, Pablo Isla, told shareholders at a meeting in mid-July that, by 2025, 100% of the cotton, polyester and linen that goes into the products of Inditex’s eight brands (including Zara) will need to be organic, more sustainable or recycled.
Mr Isla said that the group will meet this target with viscose by 2023 and he explained that the four fibres together comprise 90% of all the raw material that Inditex sources.
The group has established an in-house label called ‘Join Life’ for clothes that use “the most sustainable raw materials and prioritise the use of manufacturing processes that use water and energy in the most efficient way”. Mr Isla said that Inditex has set itself the target of including 25% of all its clothing in the ‘Join Life’ programme by 2020.
If some observers are surprised at the inclusion of linen among the raw materials Mr Isla listed, Marie Demaegdt has told WSA that she supports the announcement.
European farmers produce 85% of the global supply of linen fibres, even though cultivation is restricted to a strip of coast stretching from Caen in France, through Belgium, as far as Amsterdam in the Netherlands. The flax plant from which linen comes requires no irrigation. There is no issue over genetically modified crops; the process for producing the plant is completely natural and the process for producing linen fibre from the plant is mechanical, so it uses no chemicals.
Ms Demaegdt said that she interprets the Inditex statement as a call for linen producers to embrace certification programmes that are already in place so that buyers can have confirmation from third-party certification bodies that the fibres meet their requirements.
She explained that she has been working with producers in Europe to help them become certified. One of the programmes available, European Flax, which includes audits from bodies including Bureau Veritas, is enough to win inclusion in Inditex’s ‘Join Life’.
Another certification programme is called Masters of Linen, which guarantees that the linen is 100% made in Europe, from fibre and spinning to weaving and knitting. Masters of Linen certified mills automatically gain European Flax certification too. “Inditex welcomes both certificates from their suppliers,” Ms Demaegdt said.
She explained: “Linen is, in essence, a result of blending, with up to 20 or 30 blends in the finest yarns. The only way to verify the origin of each batch entering the blend is through a third-party audit.”
Courtesy: Sports Textiles
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