If ‘going green’ is the mantra of your life, we have some great news for you. Marks and Spenser, the leading retail chain in UK’s lingerie market, has announced the launch of what is considered as high street’s first carbon neutral bra. This is a part of the retailers Autograph Leaves lingerie collection which includes four styles of bras, three knickers and a set of suspenders.
The carbon-neutral status of all these articles has been ascertained by Carbon Trust Footpriting Certification Company. This company has calculated the footprint left by each item in their entire cycle of life, i.e. from manufacturing to washing and drying by the user. M&S has taken these studies into account while developing their new range of products.
To begin with, the retail giant manufactures this innovative set of under garments in an establishment that came to be known as ‘eco-factory’ in Thurulie, Sri Lanka. This factory depends primarily on hydroelectricity and solar panels for its sources of power. Another significant aspect of this factory is its emphasis on reducing wastage of energy. It prefers to use energy efficient bulbs instead of regular sources of light. These initiatives have reduced its carbon footprint by 33 percent as against the energy consumed by a regular cloth manufacturing unit.
Apart from reducing the consumption of energy, M&S follows an elaborate plan to offset remaining 77 percent of carbon that is left in the process of manufacturing its products. It runs a project under the supervision of Conservation Carbon Company that ensures a reduced level of emission. Under this scheme the retailer proposes to plant 6000 trees each year in the land that lies between Kenneliya and Polgahakanda forests. It has been decided that majority of these trees should be of native varieties. This is done to facilitate free movement of wild life from one forest to another. These forests are home to species like slender loris and green vine snake . Planting trees can provide a safe corridor to the animals residing there. Unfortunately, it has been observed that 90 percent of Sri Lanka’s wild life is disappearing at a rate of 1.6 percent per year. M&S hopes to arrest this rate of decline and boost the growth of wild life of this country.
The scheme also proposes to address the demands of this country’s economy. It has involved local farmers to promote a mutually sustainable agriculture. Conservation Carbon Company has decided that 25 percent of the trees planted in the forest should be able to generate income for the farmers. These plants should preferably produce fruits and timber so that farmers can enjoy the benefits of harvesting them.
The Head of Sustainable Business at M&S, Mike Barry, said that his company would like to increase the manufacturing of carbon neutral clothing. He also hoped that other companies should follow these steps and move towards and eco-friendly world.
We don’t want green, eco-friendly products to be in a ghetto in the corner, we should be making all products more environmentally friendly,