Be the change you want to see in the world - Gandhi

Thursday, February 16, 2012

An Asian Apparel Factory First - 'Mihila' is Carbon Neutral

So here it is, Asia's first carbon neutral apparel factory, Mihila, located in Agalawatte, Sri Lanka and owned by the Hirdaramani Group. The factory was awarded carbon neutral certification by The CarbonNeutral Company, a global provider of carbon reduction solutions. This has definitely boosted the country's reputation for ethical and sustainable manufacturing. 

I think the thing that I find frustrating, as someone who is constantly checking out the labels in all types of clothing from all different types of apparel companies, is how little I see clothes 'made in sri lanka'. Generally the labels boost the 'made in' of the newest low wage country the apparel industry can take advantage of. 

The reason I am posting this is to try and bring awareness to those who are trying to do something good. TAKE A LOOK AT THE LABELS OF THE CLOTHING YOU ARE BUYING! I look at clothing labels the same way I do for food and beauty product labels. If it's going in and around my body, I want to know what's in it! Do it for yourself and do it to support those who are doing good. We vote with our dollar these days, companies will follow the almighty buck and hopefully they'll catch on to why certain products are selling. Be it organic, be it how it is manufactured etc...

I don't want to get all preachy here. However, if you are concerned about how clothes are made - be it your safety, the safety of the workers or the safety of the environment. The first step is looking at the label.

  • Where is it made? a country notorious for bad practices, locally?
  • What is it made out of? blended fibres, natural, recycled, or petroleum based?
  • How do you have to wash it? dry clean only, cold water wash, or hot water wash?
Too bad there wasn't more information such as which chemicals are have been used. If it is crease resistent, you can bet formaldehyde has been used. If you can rub the garment on a piece of paper and the dye transfer, chances are it's not a high quality made/dyed garment and bad quality dye=dangerous chemicals (generally speaking)

Just like everything, it's all about balance and these are not 'dye' hard rules (haha), but it's just to get you thinking a little bit about what goes into your clothes and lays next to your skin.

Here's a great little fact sheet about the reductions this factory was able to achieve.
(always the skeptic I would really like to now who these 'comparisons' are but hey, at least they're trying!)

I am going to look into how they achieve this zero waste though! 

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