Manufacturing denim often leaves a negative impact on the environment, with cotton being resource intensive due to its high consumption of water and chemicals. It’s estimated that up to 2,000 liters of water is used to produce just one cotton shirt. This is the same amount an average person drinks in three years.
With this, Marks and Spencer, a brand that is all about sustainability by making clothes that last, is using materials that are 100% responsibly sourced with the majority coming from Better Cotton Initiative (BCI). This makes M&S the first British retailer to do so. BCI is the largest cotton sustainability program in the world. They’ve helped two million cotton farmers in 21 countries increase profits by training them to reduce the use of fertilizer, pesticide and water. M&S has also partnered with Jeanologia, the leader in finishing technologies, to cut 86% less water* on its denim production.
Not only are Marks and Spencer jeans made with less water but 100% of the polyester used to make their supersoft denim is made from recycled plastic bottles. Each pair uses the equivalent of 10 plastic bottles.
Aside from sustainable production, M&S ensures sources are organic and fairtrade. With most of cotton production associated in human rights violations, the retail giant has zero tolerance on issues such as Modern Slavery, Child Labour, Discrimination and Harassment. Marks and Spencer has been recognized as a leader for tackling modern slavery in the Global Governance FTSE 100 league table and makes sure that suppliers pay a fair wage to workers.
With the environmental impacts of denim production, it’s safe to say that it’s best to invest in more sustainable fabrics that last. It may only seem pricier at first, but the value is much worth it in the long run and cheaper too as a pair of premium quality jeans can outlast several lower quality throwaway clothing.
* compared to the garment finishing process industry average as stated by Jeanologia.
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