November 5, 2019 Sustainable Performance
Brands have opportunities to implement sustainability at every stage of development. Hohenstein researches the human-textile-environment interaction to improve both performance and sustainability.
There are (sometimes hidden) opportunities to implement sustainability no matter where you are in the development process. Whether you’re choosing materials or production partners, there are steps you can take to ensure it’s as safe, sustainable and profitable as possible.
If you’re designing a pair of hiking pants, you already know a few things: your target user, the pants’ function and your overall goals for the product. To figure out the rest, it helps to have a team of experts by your side.
When selecting materials, performance features and sustainability should weigh equally. What fabrics and finishes will be the most breathable and washable so that hikers will stay comfortable and keep their clothes longer? Is the odor management technology effective, durable and safe for human skin? If you’re incorporating organic cotton, can you offer proof that it’s GMO-free? Are the materials and treatments both functional and sustainable?
To ensure hikers don’t abandon your pants because they shrink or restrict movement, they must fit. With the right pattern, you can build in material waste reduction as well as ensuring consistent fit. After all, scrap material waste and returns are neither sustainable nor profitable.
Even if independent testing validates sustainability and performance claims on the product, there are still production impacts to minimize. When choosing who and where to manufacture, how do you choose partners that treat workers fairly and protect the environment? Third-party inspections and testing can play important roles in reducing costs and ensuring chemical management, wastewater analysis and consistent quality.
Ideally, creating a durable, trusted pair of hiking pants lends itself to a long service life. Regardless of when the time comes, it’s still important to look ahead to the product’s end of life. Where will the pants end up once they’re discarded? Can they be recycled? Will they biodegrade? Do they contain chemicals that will leach into the soil or parts that can’t be reused?
With a strong partner, you can ensure your products won’t harm the environment their users want to enjoy.
Hohenstein is happy to help.
Image: ALEX SAVA / GETTY IMAGES