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Anthony Mazzenga
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As we begin to see signs of economic recovery, America needs a transformation unlike any other in its history. We can’t miss the role that Textile manufacturing should play in this transformation. Sustainability is important to making sure that we have and will continue to have the water, materials and resources to protect human health and our environment. Chounard's "Sustainabilty" comment is worrisome especially viewed from his position; often described as the moral voice of the outdoor industry. If we all were to stop pretending that there is no such thing as Sustainability the effort to build toward the ideal would become dead. To limit the damage of disregard of our actions for a healthier environment by not believing in the ideal of sustainability is to give credence that it is never possible at all. After Love Canal, the United States took action to protect our waterways. Today, for those that still manufacture textiles in America and apparel makers that still use American made fabrics understand that toxic and harmful substances will not be present in the fabrics they use to make their garments. Textile manufacturing consumes enormous amounts of water and without the safeguards we have we would certainly have had the problems that are present today in China. When large apparel brands and retailers moved from American shores to cheaper labor, they also escaped the cost of environmental regulations; there was a total disregard of the ideal of Sustainability. Is it no wonder that the hope of achieving the necessity of Sustainability is pronounced nonsense? 300,000,000 people in China are without potable drinking water. Textile manufacturing is the largest consumer of water. The devastation has already happened and Greenpeace International's appeal to the largest apparel brands to join them in their Detox program to reverse the damage has already garnered some support and a promise by some to be compliant by the year 2020. Textiles made in America today remain committed to production methods that do not contain toxic or harmful substances. They are still creating processes that reduce water uses in coloring fabrics. Sustainability is not forgotten and we can still be hopeful that we can get further to achieving the ideal. American consumers are realizing the important advantages of Made in America garments made of made in America fabrics.
Toggle Commented Dec 14, 2011 on Yvon throws the Gauntlet at OR Blog
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Dec 14, 2011