To create a sustainable collection, it is very important to take eco-design into account. Ecodesign allows you to plan a series of strategies, from product conceptualization to end-of-life, to create environmentally conscious pieces. In this article we explain everything you need to know about ecodesign and what techniques you can use to achieve your sustainability goals.
What is ecodesign?
Ecodesign is a set of strategies whose main objective is to help prevent, reduce and/or minimize the environmental impact of a product. These strategies focus on different levels within the development cycle of a product, which are conceptualization, manufacturing, use and end-of-life.
Why is eco-design important?
Ecodesign has many advantages. The most important, perhaps, is that it allows you to reduce the ecological footprint of your production. But beyond the environmental benefits, ecodesign will help you comply with current and future legislation, respond to the growing demand for sustainable products, and at the same time make your brand more innovative, more competitive and better perceived.
1. Planning is vital; optimize the supply chain in advance.
The product ideation stage is very important. Here, you will have to reflect on the amount of resources consumed by the production system and the characteristics of the garments in question. You will have to decide on the key actions that will allow you to dematerialize (reduce the amount of materials needed to produce your collection and thus reduce the consumption of natural resources), the composition and durability of the garments (using quality materials that do not deteriorate will prolong the life of the product and reduce the need for overproduction).
2. Use reduced impact materials
Ensure that the composition of your garments is optimal. Reuse and recycle materials as much as possible, and in the event that a new production is necessary, opt for non-synthetic fabrics, free of hazardous substances (think carefully about the type of dyes you will use) and avoid producing different materials. Above all, when it comes to manufacturing, the best option lies in the materials of the future, which are innovative and manufactured differently from the traditional way to reduce the carbon footprint of the products and the ecological footprint of the end consumer.
3. Optimize the production chain
Already in the manufacturing phase of the product life cycle, think about how to reduce the impact of its associated processes. Reduce the number of production steps, use cleaner production techniques, minimize water and energy consumption and/or use renewable energies, and reduce the amount of waste or encourage internal waste recycling.
4. Optimize distribution
Once you have your collection done, it’s time to think about the impact of packaging and transportation. Minimize the amount of packaging in mass or volume, use reusable or lower impact packaging, optimize the volume of production to reduce the number of transports and opt for efficient, low-impact vehicles/fuels.
5. Reduce impact in use
In the product use phase, aim to reduce the impact produced by the use or maintenance of the product. This consists of minimizing the need for maintenance: reducing the resources and number of operations needed to maintain the product, that it can be maintained with low impact products, and that it requires the minimum of energy/water consumption in use.
6. Optimize the lifetime of your collection
Increase the useful life of your garments to reduce overproduction of materials. We have talked about producing with quality materials, but it is also important to consider repairability and availability of spare parts.
7. End-of-life optimization
Inevitably, there will come a point in time when a garment will cease to have value or be used. This is where strategies to reduce the impact of product waste management come in. The most important, undoubtedly, is to follow a circular economy model so that the closing of one garment cycle is the beginning of the cycle for another. Therefore, it is necessary to plan how, once the useful life of a material is over, it can be reused or recycled to create another product without wasting resources. It is also necessary to think about the ease of disassembly and separation of materials to facilitate correct final management and increase their recyclability.
Reuse, the key strategy in ecodesign
We have seen that, before starting to produce, you should think about reuse as one of the best tools of ecodesign when selecting materials and extending their useful life. From Recovo we help you to make your collection reusing excess fabrics from big and small brands so you can make sustainable garments with low environmental impact. In our catalog you can find all kinds of fabrics and even materials of the future so you can contribute to a circular fashion model.
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