November 5, 2019 Back to Basics: Materials Matter
We can say without a doubt, that as an industry we are doing great things, we are involved in wide ranging initiatives that are contributing towards changing the direction of the industry to one that is trying to leave the world better than we found it.
However, as we forge ahead and engage in industry initiatives such as public land conservation and carbon offsetting, which are imperative to rebuild and regenerate the environment in which we thrive as souls and businesses, are we perhaps in danger of outsourcing responsibility and underestimating the power that materials choices can have?
Materials make up the majority of the impact of our products, and influence all our sustainability considerations; from carbon emissions, to de-fossilization, circular economy to end of life options. The choice of materials plays a part in so many production decisions including the selection of dyes and finishes, processing, waste management, social and animal welfare, and transportation efficiencies.
Let’s consider carbon, it is a great thing to be offsetting and insetting, but how about reduction as a first step? To have the knowledge that if we switched from batch dye, to dope dye and the associated reduction that would have on carbon emissions is a great thing, materials really matter.
As an engaged industry, perhaps we risk missing a trick by not going back to the basics, examining the core of our businesses, and giving our material choices the time and energy they deserve.
– Katy Stevens Head of CSR and Sustainability, EOG
Illustration: Susan Larsen