Focus: Consumer Goods
Location: Clarence, NY
While most people associate carbon footprints with the over usage of energy, waste from other industries like the fashion industry is less obvious. Each year, more than 500,000,000 gallons of fresh water is used to dye textiles (EcoWatch). This is an environmental problem not only because of the copious amount of water that is consumed, but also because the water is then dumped back into nearby rivers where the chemicals from the dye are discharged. 700 gallons of water is used in the production of one t-shirt and about 1500 gallons for one pair of jeans (Huffington Post). Additionally, the cotton industry is crucial in the fashion industry, as nearly 40% of our clothing is made using this fiber. As one of the US’s main exports, cotton is responsible for attracting almost 25% of pesticides that have injured and killed many people each year (NCBI). One woman is making the clothing industry more sustainable.
Holly Henderson, the designer of Simply Natural Clothing, recognized how much certain clothing fibers contributed to our world’s waste and pollution, and began researching different ways to “Trim the Waste” to reduce our overall carbon footprint. By working with farmers to utilize alpaca fur, she discovered that the material was more environmentally friendly and healthier for not only the earth but people as well. Alpaca wool is known for being hypoallergenic and very versatile, making it perfect for summer and winter weather. Compared to the production of other fibers, Alpaca fibers leave one of the smallest carbon footprints because it is biodegradable and requires little processing in order to transform it into its finished product (Alpaca Collections). Using her 30 years of experience in the fashion industry, Holly created a line of Simply Natural Clothing in 2011 that consists of luxury garments made from eco-friendly materials.
Simply Natural Clothing ensures that all processes of production are toxin free, and that their materials both contain no chemicals and are biodegradable. Henderson received first-place for her work at the Canisius College Women’s Business Center Success Stimulus Competition. She continues to strive towards educating consumers about organic fashion, while introducing them to the Simply Natural line of apparel that is healthy and safe. She also plans to expand her business by introducing a line of custom-made home furnishing products that will make homes more environmentally friendly as well. What is the carbon footprint of your closet?
Environmental Impact: Sustainable agriculture, organic agriculture, avoided use of harmful chemicals
Measurement: Simply Natural Clothing
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