Designing + Manufacturing With Green in Mind

It’s Green Week at Maker’s Row! We’re counting down until Earth Day with tips on becoming more green.  Whether you are a brand or a manufacturer, sustainable options are available to add to a more eco-friendly society.

Designing with Green in Mind

As a fashion designer or entrepreneur, your brand can be more eco-friendly through the products you make. Green thinking can start with design all the way to manufacturing. In addition to working with an eco-friendly factory, here are a few ways you can participate in the sustainable fashion movement:

Zero-waste fashion refers to items of clothing that generate little or no textile waste in their production. TabiiJust is a zero waste womenswear clothing label that used Maker’s Row to launch their line. Pre-consumer zero-waste fashion aims to eliminate the waste of materials during manufacturing. Post-consumer zero-waste creates clothing from used garments such as second-hand clothing.

Try considering more sustainable and organic materials. This will take some research, but look at the renewability and source of a fiber, the process of how a raw fiber is turned into a textile, and the material’s total carbon footprint. All these add to a more sustainable fabric.  Natural fibers are fibers which are found in nature and are not petroleum-based. During your research, you might discover that natural fibers can be categorized into cellulose (plant fiber) and protein (animal fiber), and  can be used for anything from buttons to eyewear.

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Recycled or reclaimed fibers are made from scraps of fabrics collected from clothing factories, which are processed back into short fibers for spinning into a new yarn. There are only a few facilities globally that are able to process the clippings.

If you’re direct to consumer e-commerce the type of packaging you ship can either harm or help the environment. It is possible to get eco-friendly boxes that are on-brand and recyclable.

Building An Eco-Friendly Factory

Designing a manufacturing system that eliminates waste is usually seen in the form of lean manufacturing. Lean manufacturing is a systematic method for the elimination of waste within a manufacturing system. It is also known as lean production, or just “lean.”  Lean can refer to a number of things. A “lean” company or process is one that maintains the proper standards of waste reduction or one that is “becoming lean” and aiming for the “lean” title.  “Becoming lean” refers to a process, a commitment to continually changing the manufacturing process until the status of “lean” is achieved. In addition, Lean Six Sigma Toolbox is a set of tools or methods used as resources to maintain or achieve “lean” status. Lastly, lean can also refer to a philosophy. Lean thinking is a business management philosophy that aims at reducing waste.

As a manufacturer, you can also incorporate green into your shipping. Consider using boxes from recycled material, like corrugated boxes.  

Want to look for eco-friendly factories on Maker’s Row?

Use the code GREENWEEK17 to get $10 off our essentials plan! (Ends on 4/22/17)

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