Eco-Friendly Methods Of Manufacturing Garments

March 2, 2023

With consumer demand at an all-time high and the globe already witnessing the effects of climate change, how can manufacturers in fashion play their part in promoting sustainability? We break it down below.

Two people looking at tote bags made of cloth.

Eco-Design Through Life Cycle Assessment

Eco-design is a term for methods that enable sustainable manufacturing of garments and other products in fashion. Life Cycle Assessment, or LCA, is a method that helps manufacturers ask whether they are employing the most environmentally friendly and ethical practices at every step of producing a textile. This means they pick the most sustainable way a garment can fulfill its life cycle: during sourcing, design, production, usage, and disposal.

The following methods are some of the proposed ways for a successful life cycle assessment to ensure sustainable garment manufacturing.

1. Natural Substances As Raw Materials

This is a fairly simple one. Use naturally-occurring substances such as hemp and bamboo as raw materials. Avoid using nylon and other synthetic fibers that release microplastics into the ocean.  

However, naturally occurring raw materials are not necessarily sourced from environmentally friendly and ethical sources. Despite being a natural raw material, cotton is now grown extensively to meet consumer demand. This takes up a lot of water, and the insecticides and pesticides used ruin soil health and the ecosystem. It is hard for small businesses to procure ethically-sourced raw materials. This is where recycling comes in.

2. Recycling

To manufacture garments sustainably, recycle materials as much as possible. For example,  textile manufacturers are moving toward using recycled polyester as raw material instead of producing new polyester. Virgin polyester is biodegradable and requires a lot of water and energy. It will stay intact for a few hundred years if sent to a landfill. So instead of disposing of polyester products, many businesses opt to recycle them into new products.

 Recycled fashion items on a table at a thrift store

3. Computer-Aided Design

Computer-aided design (CAD) is quickly taking the fashion world by storm. Instead of using real raw materials for sampling, manufacturers are using computer software for designing. These virtual designs can be created quickly and can reliably represent real samples. It is also easier to alter and optimize these designs, so the source materials are not used until the concept is fully realized. This reduces wastage and saves time.

If you aim to release a sustainable fashion line, you should collaborate with manufacturers sharing your vision of conscious fashion.

Our team at Lefty Production Co. is dedicated to sustainability as clothing manufacturers. Read more about our sustainability efforts here. We specialize in men's wear and women's apparel manufacturers in Los Angeles, but our service areas expand to the rest of the US, Canada, the UK, France, and Switzerland. Book an appointment with us and bring your sustainable fashion line to life.



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