We heard a lot about ecology in recent years, but what does it really mean ecology and ecological fibers?
This term has been used several times in marketing campaigns to encourage the purchase of fibers that often have very little ecological.
You will think that we are manipulating the concept only because we’re in the field, but let's see in detail from a technical point of view what this word means.
Let's start with an example that concerns fibers such as cotton and wool, which everyone thinks are the most natural on the market.
The first one is COTTON
The cotton manufacturing process requires numerous bleaching processes before being used and worn. Furthermore, the cotton is dyed after being processed, which leads to loss of colour during washing with consequent release of dyes in wastewater (highly polluting because some dyes contain poisons such as cyanide).
Nevertheless, wool also undergoes numerous washes, with the consequent use of litres and litres of water in order to obtain a garment that can be worn on skin without causing irritation. Even in this case there are wastewaters that collect the elements.
At this point you are thinking: “...but then, what difference does polypropylene have? There is nothing more natural than wool! "
Well... you are wrong. The production of this fiber is absolutely the most ecological! In fact, it does not give rise to any type of pollution, neither chemical nor thermal.
For polypropylene there is no water consumption during production and for that reason it can be defined as an ecological fiber.
The color is given at the origin of the process, when the yarn is produced, through the use of pigments that are insoluble in water and not even in the main solvents. The result is a garment that does not bleed (does not lose color) during washing and therefore cannot color other garments nor wastewaters.
Of course there are also scraps in polypropylene spinning, but they are always recyclable.
Furthermore, for the production of Polypropylene, neither solvents nor acids are used. Those elements are often used for fabrics made of viscose triacetate, nylon and polyester.
Another point, no less important, is the consumption of detergent: less detergent means spending less money on weekly shopping and, above all, less water pollution. Consider that the process of "cleaning" the water from detergents is one of the most expensive and difficult to deal with.
It is a material that can be washed at low temperatures (30 ° or 40 ° are more than enough to get a clean garment), but it is very resistant even at high temperatures (up to 60 °, especially important for the healthcare sector medical).
Low carbon footprint
Polypropylene is 100% recyclable
Recycling is another main aspect: in fact, all polypropylene products can be 100% recycled. That’s for this reason that many large car manufacturers are moving towards the use of this fiber even for fabrics inside cars, door interiors, seats, etc. dashboards and other rigid parts are already made of polypropylene.
Another aspect is the ease of washing at low temperatures: when washing polypropylene garments try to use half detergent you normally use and very low washing temperature. You will get excellent results. You will discharge less detergent in the wastewaters and you will consume less energy.
A little action can help our planet and ourselves.
Disposable face masks
Due to Covid 19 we had to equip ourselves with masks, many of us use disposable masks even in situations and environments that do not require them.
It has been estimated that around 94 million disposable face masks are thrown away every day (Source: Environmental Journal).
You may wonder how to counteract this intense use of masks and gloves that have become necessary in everyday life.
“Homemade” masks created with fabric obtained from sheets or oldl clothes were fundamental in the first phase of the pandemic, when we quickly geared up to find a solution.
Liod started the production of washable and reusable polypropylene masks in February 2020. The main purpose was to provide protection that could cover the request from civilians.
It is important to highlight that the Sars-Cov-2 virus remains on surfaces and objects for several days if they are not sanitized (Source: The New England Journal of Medicine). So disposable masks are also potentially contaminated.
Reusable masks - which can be used for several times - allow you to give a "greater breath" to the planet. Nowadays we are struggling to avoid potential threats that can pollute aquifers, seas, mountains, woods, as well as cities (Source: Greenpeace) by masks and gloves.
In order to make our contribution we can act locally, from the smallest, buying with conscience and seeking ethics in the companies we rely on.
Liod has always had an eye for the environment and we have been making sustainable choices for years:
- we use recycled and recyclable packaging
- we use paper, plastic and packaging to the maximum of their lifetime cycle before throwing away
- we carry out separate collection and encourage it among our workers
- most of the cleaning is done with steam
- we choose non-aggressive detergents and refillable packs
- in the last 15 months we have decreased paper prints by 65% (February 2020 - April 2021)
- we encourage information sharing through digital channels
- we prefer black / white prints
- thanks to the installation of hot air hand dryers, we avoid the use of disposable paper
- we place the heating at an appropriate temperature: this helps to safeguard the health of workers and at the same time the environment from excessive emissions
- we gradually replaced the old industrial lights that had reached their deadline, with LED lighting systems
- we use sockets with centralized shutdown during non-working hours
- we have had twilight lights for years that are activated only if necessary
- the garden and the plants around the company help generate oxygen
- those who have the opportunity prefer travelling using eco-friendly transports, obviously when the Alpine climate allows ;)