THTC & Viscose - A Proactive Statement


by Ashwin Bolar August 03, 2017

Ever since THTC began, the one thing we've never compromised on is our commitment to ethical and organic sourcing.

Last month, we came across an investigative report in the Guardian, detailing the damage that viscose-producing factories were having upon the environment and people of places such as China, India and Indonesia.

In particular, we were horrified to find out one of the worst polluting facilities was located in the same Chinese province as our hemp producer - meaning workers from our partner factories and hemp collectives may have been exposed to excessive emissions of air pollutants. You hurt our worker comrades, you hurt all of us. If we sound angry - it's because we are. 

In the past, THTC has produced clothing on 'modal', a material very similar to viscose, in terms of how it is made. Modal, like viscose, is made from wood pulp and spun into fibres. Having read about the insane level of pollution and health-related issues associated with viscose, we immediately contacted our production partner.

Thankfully, we were reassured that we are using environmentally sustainable cellulosic fibers, produced by a wonderful little Austrian company called, 'Lenzing.' Both their Modal and Tencel products (the latter which we haven't used yet!) are produced under Lezing's amazingly rigorous sustainability strategy framework. 

Lenzing sources all wood pulp from European forests - mostly from its own reserves, nurseries and plantations. The EU implement pretty strict forestry protection laws (most of which the British Conservative Government has tried to circumvent in recent years) - all wood pulp is catalogued with clear sourcing audit trails, as defined under the pretty detailed EU FLEGT facility (yeah, read up about it!).

Back in the early days, we produced a line of clothing on bamboo-derived material. However, soon after we did we found out about the environmentally damaging way in which bamboo is farmed and processed. Thankfully we had - and still have - a very engaged community that helped to educate us. Again, if THTC steps out of line, we'd hope that you guys would help guide us back onto the right path.

This issue reminded us once again why the hemp industries are are in dire need of deregulation and investment, in order to provide the world with high quality sustainable clothing materials (among other products!), as well as the importance of listening to our community.

It might interest you, dear reader, that we've just managed to secure our next batch of hemp production - so in by September/October 2017, THTC will be flush with hemp once again - our biggest order to date.

TL;DR - We Good.




Ashwin Bolar
Ashwin Bolar

Author

Director of Digital Marketing for THTC



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