If you think you cannot harm the environment by purchasing clothes, think again. Fast fashion is in fact ranks second among the most polluted industries, just after oil exploitation and trading. The amount of water and pesticides used to plant cottons, the harmful chemical dyes, the poor working conditions in third-world countries and even the amount of abandoned used clothing after they are out of trend all contribute to environmental pollution as well as your very own carbon footprint.
According to a research, only 2.4% of the world’s cropland is planted with cotton but these 2.4% use up to 10% of agricultural chemicals and 25% of pesticides on a global scale. With China, India, the US and Brazil being the largest cotton cultivators in the world, the rivers and seas in these countries are slowly contaminated with harmful pollutants, threatening the lives of human and species living in the nearby areas. Pesticides are not the only problem, chemical dyes, which contain lead, mercury and other toxins, are also released neglectfully into the waterways by manufacturers, slowly spreading deadly diseases to habitants in the neighborhood. As a result, the workers, which are already exploited in sweatshops with minimum earning levels and extremely deprived working conditions, now also have to face with toxic atmosphere and poisonous water after work.
In the era of fast fashion, people tend to wear new items for a couple of times and then throw them away to adapt new trendy pieces. This reckless behavior plus the tempting marketing methods of fashion retailers result in tons of clothing disposed every year all over the world. Clothes these days are often mixed with other materials, which make them even harder to degrade.
So, what should we do to minimize our ecological footprint on earth? You can buy items that are made of organic cotton. Organic cottons are planted without any chemical usage. Other than that, you are encouraged to purchase items that are long-lasting instead of fashionable but easily worn out. You may consider reusing, recycling and repurposing to give items brand new lives and brand new purposes; and by doing this, you actually reduce your consumption and, in consequence, protect the environment.
At Viethnic, the products we offer can to an extent respond to those suggestions. With our rattan product line, it is needless to say about its origins as all of the rattan products are made of natural material with no chemical usage during the treatment process. With the indigo-batik line, the name says it all. The fabrics used to create our products are made of 100% organic cotton or hemp. In order for the products to have the blue colors as you may see, our artisans have used indigo plant extracts as the dye so it is completely harmless to the environment. With the patterns, our makers use bee wax to draw directly on the fabrics, the wax is then washed off by boiling water, revealing the patterns underneath. Remarkably, the majority of our products reused a part of Hmong people’s dresses or jackets as the main decorations, therefore, the vintage items that were once delicately made and proudly worn by a tribal member, through the hands of Viethnic’s artisans, will be repurposed as the decorations for our products.
The process of making any item at Viethnic, as you might notice, is totally organic and environmental-friendly. Moreover, Viethnic also take its responsibility with their workers and artisans seriously. Our tribal artisans can work freely in their leisure after harvest time, at their own homes with reasonable payrolls. Annually, a part of our sales revenue is deducted to give away scholarships to highland kids with low living conditions. If you are a person who cares about the environment and human wellbeing when purchase something, choosing Viethnic’s products could be an option.