Understanding Sustainable Clothing

Understanding Sustainable Clothing: A Green Interview

Sustainable Clothing is THE buzzword in the fashion industry right now. But what exactly does sustainable mean in this context? Clothing that does not harm the environment, doesn’t deplete natural resources and helps in long-term ecological balance.
Let’s not get into how many of the brands actually do use this term responsibly (hint: very few).
Luckily we bumped into one of those very few brands who do justice to the term “Sustainable Clothing”, EcoHike – the first CII-Greenco certified t-shirt manufacturer.
They turn PET BOTTLES into T-shirts! Aren’t we impressed already?
If you aren’t yet, here is what it means in numbers:

  • Made from 12 recycled pet bottles.
  • 70% less CO2 emission while manufacturing.
  • 250 grams of landfill saved.

We interviewed Mr.Kathir, the founder of EcoHike and an environmentalist to bring you first-hand accounts of sustainability.
What motivated your brand towards sustainable manufacturing? 
During the process of CII-Greenco certification, we learned a lot about sustainability and we were shocked about the number of natural resources that we are using while making our garments. While exercising how to reduce the resource and to come up with a truly sustainable garment, we found that recycling and switching to sustainable manufacturing is the only way where we can address water, land and air pollution.
How did you come up with the idea of using textile waste and PET bottles to manufacture t-shirts? 
When we decided to take up recycling, we made a lot of trials and errors with recycled cotton and polyester. We were very cautious that we do not compromise anything on performance while making our sustainable t-shirt, and after 15 months of our effort we came up with our signature collection where we use 100% recycled PET bottle polyester to manufacture t-shirts. So it’s research, trials and a strong urge to save the environment.
Is it “the business that turned out well for the environment” or “the concerns for the environment that gave birth to the business”?
As I said early it’s purely the concern for the environment that gave birth to this idea of product and business.
What makes ECOHIKE t-shirts stand out from other sustainable t-shirt brands?
True sustainability cannot be achieved unless it is affordable for a common man to buy and use it. We are disappointed with the fact that some brands use sustainability to price more from the normal cost. We wanted to break that barrier and we come up with a product that is truly affordable /durable/performable and easily maintainable. That’s where we stand apart from the rest.
Are your customers aware of the process that goes into manufacturing the t-shirt they are buying? How do you make sure of that?
YES and that is our main agenda. To CREATE CONSUMER AWARENESS.
In all our products, we attach a brand swing ticket(tag). The tag has pictorial information about the sustainable benefits like how much water is saved, how much PET  BOTTLES is recycled, how much co2 emission is reduced, how much landfill is saved while buying every individual t-shirt.
The tag itself is made of cotton textile waste and it is printed using food grade ink which is very much organic. To add more value to this tag we have embedded organic vegetable seeds like brinjal/chili etc. in the tag.
Lastly, what your one advice for the consumers to take up sustainability?
We urge customers to start by buying just one piece of sustainable clothing. Know and learn all the sustainable values, enjoy the comfort and a feel-good factor of contributing to saving the environment.  Next time, while buying from other brands, ask for the collection that is MADE IN A SUSTAINABLE way. This will pave the way for more sustainable brands to evolve.

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