Environmentally responsible business
The textile industry is known as the 2nd most polluted industry in the world. Globally, the Netherlands plays only a modest role, taking into account only 1% of the total global market. Global production and consumption of textile fibres is expected to continue to increase by 3-4% per year. Textile fibres are making an increasing impact on raw material stocks, and the production of textiles has a great impact on the environment. This has to do with various aspects, of which the most important ones are shown below:
- The use of pesticides during the cultivation of cotton, which is very harmful to soil and public health;
- The cultivation of cotton demands huge amounts of water;
- The use of chemicals during the fabrication process, i.e., the dyeing and finishing of the fabric, as well as the discharge of the residual water;
- The non-reuse of the waste caused by the disposal of textiles.
The solution to the increasing demand for textiles and run-off of dyes and synthetic materials ending up in the soil is in applying a circular model for the closing of the textile chain. Schijvens endeavours to reduce the impact on the environment and to leave a better footprint. This is done by making an informed choice in the use of raw materials and substances for its corporate clothing collections, such as the use of recycled plastic, coffee grounds as well as recycled textiles.
Schijvens collects old clothing from its customers and uses it as raw material for its circular yarn. In this yarn, it processes 30% post-consumer textiles, 20% cutting waste and 50% recycled PET polyester from PET bottles, fishing nets and polyester clothing. As a result, this yarn falls into class A of the Made-By benchmark.
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In July 2016, together with more than seventy other companies in the clothing and textile sector, Schijvens signed the covenant agreed to work together to further the sustainability of the sector. This sustainability plan was initiated and co-signed by Minister Ploumen. For Schijvens, the signing of the covenant is the logical and subsequent step to their code of conduct, already endorsed by the Fair Wear Foundation.