written by Ciara Johnson
Over the years the industry of fashion has crept its way up the totem pole and landed as one of the world's largest and most pollutant prone industries. The massive amounts of energy, resources and waste paired with the lack of jobs here in the US along with the inhumane working conditions abroad all play major roles in the decimation of our mother earth and its inhabitants. Being a part of the 2nd largest polluting industry in the world brought DBTI to put great emphasis into taking the necessary steps to make sure we avoid contributing to the textile industry's lackadaisical production and manufacturing practices that are destroying our planet. We are adamant in our reused-recycled fabric choices and have pride in our US made swimwear collection.
Textile and clothing sit under the oil industry as the second largest economic industry of trade. Living in a society of instant gratification has induced the production and manufacturing timetables to speed up causing the quality of production and working conditions to go down. Over the years, the once thriving textile industry in the US, particularly in NYC's Garment District, has seen endless jobs sent overseas to developing countries putting not only our environment but also workers in harms way.
The textile industry hosts the production of both natural and synthetic fibers, that manufacturing contributes to endless pollution to many facets of our planet. The process of spinning, weaving and industrial manufacturing undermines our air quality. The dyeing and printing processes consume enormous quantities of water and chemicals that release volatile substances into the ground, water and atmosphere contributing to water and waste pollution.
The gaseous emissions are categorized as being the second greatest pollutant in the textile industry and are the most difficult emission to test for and audit. Textile mills spawn a variety of air pollutants that come from the fabric preparation process and waste water treatment. Toxic chemicals like sulfur oxide, hydrocarbons and formaldehyde all emit harm gases during processing. When it comes to the pollution of water the wet processing during textile production creates the highest volume of wastewater. Bleaching, dyeing and washing of fibers and of finished products all emit harmful chemicals including surfactants, ionic metals, biocide and toxic anions.
Toxic and nontoxic solid waste both play major roles in the pollution footprint of the textile industry. Along the front of toxic waste pollution, scrap metal, storage drums and containers along with waste water sludge all contribute to the polluting of our soil and ground water; if they are not disposed properly. Nontoxic, remnant fibers, yarns and fabrics also contribute to waste pollution along with the abundance of old clothing that’s thrown away. Landfills are overly stocked with the unused, unwanted clothing from millions of people which just plays into the mentality of this society that needs instant gratification and always wants for something new.
OUR GREEN INITIATIVES
Seeing the impact of the pollution and waste that’s produced by one household, or one business, or one condominium is the initial gear that got Don’t Blow the Illusion moving towards becoming an eco-conscious brand. We full-heartedly want to make sure we can be active in making wise choices in our manufacturing and production processes so that we do not contribute to any more pollution than we already do by merely existing here on Earth. DBTI believes it’s super important that any and all manufacturing business that we do produces a product that is durable, well-made and done so with thoughtfulness; not a product that may be considered disposable after one or two wears based on either its low quality, or low cost to the consumer. It’s also equally as important to us that the production process and not just the final product are of high standard. We have a responsibility as designers and clothing manufacturers to know and care about where our product is coming from, who’s making it, the conditions of the workplace for the people and of course our business’s overall impact on the environment. Don’t Blow the Illusion holds the integrity of the brand and eco-consciousness with equal importance. Our founder and creative head Robin holds her visual aesthetic parallel to that of the product and our environment; wanting her photography tied only to high touch and mindfully manufactured garments.
Our swimwear products go around the globe before they reach our customer, quite literally. Our printing and laser cutting takes place in the USA before being shipped to Canada to be sewn and packaged. Since 2015, Don't Blow It Co. has been using an Italian made eco-conscious fabric that is composed of 78% ECONYL® (a fibre that is made of 100% post-consumer recycled materials) and 22% Xtra Life LYCRA. These recycled materials consist of fishing nets, carpets and plastics that have been removed from the worlds oceans through several eco-initiatives including the Healthy Seas project and Net-Works™. All materials used in our production process are recovered, cleaned and re-polymerised into a new fibre. The fibre has the same characteristics as virgin polyamide guaranteeing top quality and giving our garments a smoother, softer feel with greater fit and shape retention compared to other swimwear fabrics.
With visual stimuli being a major focal point in our collections, all of the photography taken and produced on our swimwear is done so through the use of dye sublimation printing. This digital printing technique provides less of a negative environmental impact compared to most other printing methods. The printing process reduces water and ink pollution by eliminating the liquid stage of printing and through the use of organic printing inks. The images are printed on to transfer paper or directly onto our fabrics, heat is then used to transfer dye onto the fabric and molecularly bonds the image to our swimwear.
The fashion world while it is glamorous on the surface has some serious hard hitting truths that are harming our environment day by day. The priority of production and manufacturing at a rapid pace is held in higher regard over our world and the people who live in it. How we use energy, what resources and how you use those resources impacts our world tremendously. Our brand Don’t Blow The Illusion is, has and will continue not only produce and manufacture eco-friendly swimwear of high quality but also we will continue to be actively conscious in knowing we live in a disposable era on an indispensable planet; and will do what we can to make a difference in our industry.