The Life Cycle of an Ethical Raincoat
Designing children’s rain gear that is 100% waterproof is our goal here at fairechild. By doing so, we aim to help children connect with their environment. We want children everywhere to have the opportunity to fall in love with our natural world. As adults, we need to make sure we are making responsible choices that sustain a safe and healthy earth. fairechild does this by designing garments made from 100% recycled content and by ensuring our manufacturing processes aren’t damaging the environment needlessly.
The life cycle of our garments begins with plastic bottles, made from PET, also known as PolyEthylene Terephthalate. At it’s most basic, PET is a polymer – a string of carbon, oxygen and hydrogen molecules that are bonded together. We know what those are!
By collecting and recycling these PET bottles, we are diverting plastic from landfills. But the benefits don’t stop there! Recycling bottles to create polyester fabric also reduces our dependency on petroleum as a raw material. That’s what we call hitting two birds with one stone. These collected bottles are broken down and spun into yarn. This process comes with a 32% CO2 reduction, 60% less energy and 94% less water than comparable oil-based polymer production.
These yarns are then woven into a fabric by a German fabric mill called Sympatex. Sympatex bonds the fabric with an innovative membrane to create a fabric that is 100% waterproof, windproof and breathable and made from recycled polyester. During it’s manufacturing, 5.92 kg of CO2 are emitted to make the material for our raincoat in size 5/6. This is compared to 11.06 kg of CO2 that would be emitted if we used PTFE (which is commonly used in Gore-Tex). That’s a 50% reduction in its carbon footprint!
Our outerwear is made in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia Canada by Climate Technical Gear alongside marine grade workwear and by workers who have decades of experience. They have the technology to tape our seams so that we can ensure your little adventurer stays 100% dry.
Let’s look at the environmental impact of a garment once you bring it home. The water consumption attributed to the laundering of your garments is a huge portion of each garments overall carbon footprint. You can lower this impact by extending time between washes, avoiding hot water and by hanging to dry. We want our garments to have the longest life span possible. To that end, pass along your outgrown fairechild outerwear to a friend of family member.
Many years from now, your fairechild garment will reach the end of its life cycle. At that point join our Recycling Program by sending the well-worn garment back to us. It is then Faire Child’s responsibility to connect it to a recycling partner who will use the material to be made back into bottles, or even better, new fabric. In this way we close the loop on our production chain and turn our “waste” back into a resource.