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Tailoring old technology for sustainable fashion

Extending the average life of clothes by just three months of active use could lead to a significant reduction in carbon, water and waste footprints, claimed Novozymes at this week’s Sustainable Brands London’14 event.

With Marks & Spencer and Tesco now exploiting ‘biopolishing’ in their respective ‘Stay New’ and ‘As New’ clothing lines, Christian Wieth, senior global marketing manager of the Danish enzyme company, told Ethical Performance that he hoped other fashion brands and retailers would follow their lead.

Biopolishing is an enzyme application process which extends the life of cotton clothes by inhibiting the pilling process. And by extending the life – and look – of clothes, Novozyme research shows that extending the average life of clothes by just three months of active use would lead to a 5-10% reduction in each of the carbon, water and waste footprints.

Wieth added: “We have also surveyed consumers in Denmark and France on how they value biopolished garments, and one of the many conclusions is that 90 % will pay €3 more when they see the superior look after 10 and 20 washes. Also, biopolishing saves 540 litre water per t-shirt.”
 

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