Era’s evolution to sustainable production
Era started working on sustainability in 2013 by using fabrics with organic content for a French brand. In 2014, it developed a project to use denim fabrics with a high content of recycled cotton and polyester. The pants to be recycled were collected in France, then transformed into recycled yarns to use in manufacturing new denim.
In 2017, the company went a step further by getting OCS (Organic Content Standard) certified, and decided to ready itself for GOTS certification (Global Organic Textile Standard). The main difficulty for a denim garment manufacturer in getting GOTS certified is that the full production cycle must be reviewed, from fabrics to trims, sewing, washing processes and finishing.
Era has developed an expertise in sourcing sustainable fabrics; the next step is to be sustainable on the washing side. So, for 2019, its biggest project is completing its sustainable washing plant, which will allow it to use 1 litre of water/garment – instead of the average 70 litres of water/garment used in the industry today.
In addition, ERA has been involved in the Amsterdam-based Denim Alliance ever since its first meeting in 2017. The aim of this NGO is to increase the use of recycled fibres in denim garments. Brands, mills, and garment makers are involved in this project.
How important will it be to make the denim world more sustainable in the future?
Cotton and polyester make up over 80% of the global fibre production. In 2015, 55 million tons of cotton and polyesters were produced… That same year, some 53 million tons were added to landfills around the world…
The first thing is to produce sustainable fabrics without using virgin fibres, using recycled ones instead. As of today, there are no completely suitable solutions for using entirely recycled fabrics. The company thinks that for sustainable fabrics to replace virgin ones, they should have the following qualities:
- Same quality level as virgin fibres
- Recycling processes should be environmentally friendly
- Cost competitive – as mass consumers are not ready to pay a premium for sustainable garments.
To discover Era’s collection, stop by their stand next May 28th and 29th at Superstudio Più in Milan.