Denim is probably anyone’s all time favourite. And even if it is not the case, we all at least have a pair of denim jeans in our wardrobes. But it is surprising to see how less we know about this (arguably) most popular piece of modern fashion.
The making of denim
- Your favourite denim begins its journey as raw cotton. But do you know that 25% of the world’s pesticides are used only for cotton?
According to the World Wildlife Foundation, it takes more than 20,000 litres of water to produce just 1 kg of cotton! This estimate is even higher according to some credible websites particular to India.
All of this and much more results in severe environmental damage to the flora and fauna surrounding cotton farm and create a hazardous working environment for the farmers.
- Next, this raw cotton goes in for processing so that it can be transformed into denim. This stage includes weaving, dyeing, bleaching and softening and tailoring.
In small scale weaving mills and dyeing plants, spread across under developing and developed countries, treatments of the raw cotton leave a tremendous carbon footprint and a massive total water requirement of 10,000 litres per pair additionally!
The indigo fabric dye that is used for dyeing denim fabric is a toxic chemical which adversely affects the health of the denim factory workers.
Furthermore, the controversial techniques of “sandblasting” and “stone washing” denim jeans to get that rugged look is the cause of chronic respiratory diseases not only among the denim factory workers who perform their tasks in a sub-par working environment but among the nearby residing/working population as well.
The finished denim is then transported to thousands of miles to the retail store, contributing significantly to the global carbon footprint. According to some estimates, this distance is about 10,000 km by ships and about 4,000 km by trucks!
- On your favourite retail store, the ever-increasing affordability of your denim is the result of years of stagnant or even decreasing, sub-standard wages for the denim factory workers discharging their duties in a sub-par working environment with many of them being child labourers.
But what happens in the end?
Unfortunately, most of these jeans and other denim fabrics are discarded within their 2nd year of use and then take many months to decompose in landfills while releasing harmful greenhouse gases such as Methane (add gases) which only adds into the already overarching levels of pollution and makes the matters worse.
It adversely affects the land and the surrounding flora and fauna while the leachate (the liquid waste produced by decomposing material in landfills) poses grave risks of ground and groundwater pollution in the case of a leakage.
But, isn’t it so that, in the words of the great English playwright William Shakespeare, “All’s Well That Ends Well”?
So the right question to ask here is "Can we do anything about it?"
We, at Solecraft, think the answer is a resounding Yes!
"But don’t worry; we are not going to ask you to stop wearing denim at all. Instead, we are requesting you to donate your old denim (apparels whether jeans, jackets, etc.) to us when you stop wearing them."
What’s the point?
When you stop using a pair of jeans, you can take a step forward by helping at least a single child amongst millions of children who suffer from the lack of basic amenities for schooling.
From backpacks, to pencil cases, and even the most basic footwear; everything is a luxury for the underprivileged children.
You can donate your old denim to us and help us in our endeavour of upcycling them into school kits for these underprivileged children.
We believe that this innovative approach is the way to end two of the world’s most pressing concerns: environment and education.
We are crafting for souls, are you donating for them?