PISANI MAURA ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY
We recognise that our business activities affect the natural environment in a number of ways. We strive through continuing improvement to minimise the adverse effects on the environment and the earth’s natural resources, whilst safeguarding the health & safety of our employees and the public. We purposely seek out suppliers for raw materials who take positive action to minimise both waste and the impact of their manufacturing processes on the surrounding environment.
We aim to always:
- Comply with or exceed relevant legislative requirements. Where these are inadequate we will set our own standards that comply with our environmental and ethical criteria.
- Progressively reduce the environmental impact caused by our products and activities.
- Design and manufacture our products with consideration for the environment.
- Encourage manufacturing suppliers to recognise their environmental responsibilities and offer support to help them implement sound environmental health and safety policies and practices and to insist that the same practices are implemented within their own supply chain.
- Ensure that no chemicals deemed harmful to humans or the environment are present in our products.
- Insist that every component in all products hold a valid Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certificate to guarantee chemically safe garments.
European Regulation (EC 2006/1907–REACH regulation)
REACH is a European Regulation concerning chemicals and their safe usage. It aims to improve the protection of human health and the environment through a system of Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and restriction of Chemicals. Chemicals deemed as harmful are added to the ‘substance of very high concern list’. Vanilla products do not contain any of the chemicals on this list in any quantity and we actively work with REACH Ready to ensure compliance. The restricted substance list is usually updated twice a year. Vanilla routinely checks all products against any new listing to ensure we maintain this standard.
Oeko-Tex Standard 100
Oeko-Tex is an independent globally standardised certification especially developed for textiles. Its primary purpose is to ensure that the chemicals used in the manufacture of textile products are in no way damaging to health.
At Pisani Maura™ we understand what the modern wearer demands from their clothing. We test every component from fabric to thread, every label, lining, button and zip so that our customers never have to compromise on comfort or performance. Oeko-Tex Standard 100 allows Pisani Maura to deliver innovative fabrics and designs with complete confidence that no harmful chemicals have been used in their manufacture. Pisani Maura demands all products achieve this certification.
Oeko-Tex STeP – Promoting Sustainable Textile production
STeP is an additional factory audit that places emphasis on environmental performance and social responsibility. It is only gained by factories that achieve the highest level of sustainable production and safety ethics. The fabric used to manufacture the majority of our shirts is produced in a STeP accredited factory. We are working with our entire manufacturing base to encourage them to take part in the STeP auditing scheme.
Pisani Maura™ confirms the following:
- All factories that manufacture Vanilla garments hold at least one of the following ethical audits – WRAP, BSCI or SMETA.
- That none of our products contain any of the current substances of very high concern in accordance to European Regulation (EC) 2006/1907 – Reach Regulation.
- All components used in our garments have been tested toOeko-Tex Standard 100 and hold a current certificate testifying this fact. Our management team regularly audit all garment manufacturing facilities and key suppliers to these factories.
- A full copy of our ethical statement is available on our website or by contacting Customer Services.
Sustainable fibres Pisani Maura’s use of sustainable fibres came about as a result of its research on the impact of cotton on the environment. In response to its findings, the company made a conscious decision to introduce organic cotton to lessen the environmental and social impact of their cotton range. This happened in 2018, when awareness about the environmental impact of cotton was not as widespread as it is today. Initially, we received a lot of positive attention about its organic range, but discovered that converting this consumer interest into action was a much slower process. More than a decade later, our research & Development branch reports that the wider community is more educated about environmental risks than it used to be. Today, there is a growing market of conscious consumers who are looking for more sustainable wardrobe options. Pisani also seeks to use other environmentally sustainable fabrics in its range, which, in 2017/2018, included recycled wool and recycled PET.
Pisani’s use of water
Managing water use in the supply chain Tracking and improving water use in the supply chain has been an increasing priority for Pisani in recent years. This is because the company recognises that it’s crucial to have initial benchmarks in place, to be able to assess risk and make progress going forward. While benchmarking water use is already a process in place for the majority of Pisani chain of production and suppliers, the company’s biggest challenge will be to ensure continuous improvement in this area. This will necessitate working closely with its factory partners in the years ahead. “We’re prepared for this to be a lengthy process, working closely with our suppliers. Water is one of the most valuable resources we have on this planet and, as an industry, we need to look at how to best reduce our impact. Since implementing this strategy, we have benchmarks and a starting point to work from. Which, in itself, is a success.
ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT BEST PRACTICE HIGHLIGHTS
Energy efficiency. The company reinforces the value of environmental stewardship by using some of these cost savings to fund community improvement projects, undertaken by employee volunteers. Employees have refurbished schools and hospitals, created after-school programs, conducted tree plantings and beach clean-ups, initiated community water and energy projects, Garment factory in Pisa, Italy. received lot’s of support as part of Pisani Maura’ Green for Good program. The company has 2020 goals to reduce carbon emissions by 40 percent, reduce water use by 50 percent, achieve zero landfill, and source clean energy for 40 percent of its worldwide needs. In recognition of its achievements, Pisani Maura earned an A– rating and scored in the top 6 percent of nearly 7,000 companies that participated in the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) 2018 Climate Change Report. Good environmental stewardship will remain a key focus for Pisani Maura going forward.
The production of raw materials is responsible for a large share of the environmental impact of the textile and clothing industry, not least from growing crops for natural fibres. Cotton, which according to a 2015 report by European Clothing Action Plan (ECAP) accounts for more than 43 % of all fibres used for clothes on the EU market, is considered especially problematic because it requires huge quantities of land, water, fertilisers and pesticides. The environmental impacts of bio cotton can be drastically reduced compared to conventional cotton, as it uses less water and pollutes less.7 According to a Textile Exchange report, the share of sustainable cotton increased from 6 % in 2012 to 2013 to 19 % in 2016 to 2017.8According to the 2017 Pulse of the Fashion Industry report, natural fibres have the highest environmental impact, with silk having an especially detrimental effect regarding depletion of natural resources and global warming, cotton contributing excessively to water scarcity and wool to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. However, the industry is also testing less frequently used natural fibres, such as hemp, flax, linen and nettle, that require less water, fertilisers and pesticides. Polyester, which is made of fossil fuels and is non-biodegradable, accounted for 16 % of fibres used in clothes according to ECAP. Its main advantages are that, unlike cotton, it has a lower water-footprint, has to be washed at lower temperatures, dries quickly and hardly needs ironing, and it can be recycled into virgin (new) fibres.9 Recycled polyester, made mainly from plastic bottles, increased its market share from 8 % in 2007 to 14 % in 2017. However, several studies have recently also shownthat one load of laundry of polyester clothes (also nylon and acrylic) can discharge700 000 microplastic fibres, which release toxins into the environment and can end up in human food chain. Estimates show that every year approximately half a million tonnes of plastic microfibres from washing clothes end up in the ocean. The industry is currently experimenting with biobased polyester(also known asbiosythetics), made at least partly from renewable resources such as starches and lipids from corn, sugar cane, beet or plant oils. While the challenge is to find feedstocks that do not compete with food production and that do not require large amounts of water and pesticides.Manmade cellulosics (MMCs), derived from cellulose made from dissolved wood pulp of trees, make around 9 % of fibres used in clothes on the EU market. Most commonly used is viscose, also known as rayon. They are made from renewable plants and are biodegradable, but the main challenge is also the sustainable sourcing of cellulose, as the global production of MMCs more than doubled from 1990 to 2017. The industry is therefore working with innovative materials that are more sustainable, such as lyocell (also known under brand name ofTencel, made of cellulose from eucalyptus, which grows quickly and requires no irrigation or pesticides), bemberg (also known as cupro, made of cotton linter that cannot be used to spin yarn), and Piñatex (made of pineapple leaves).
Processing and garment production
Spinning raw materials into yarns, weaving them into fabrics and applying finishing techniques such as dyeing or giving the fabrics strength and shine are energy-intensive processes in which large amounts of water and chemicals are used. More than 1 900 chemicals are used in the production of clothing, of which 165 the EU classifies as hazardous to health or the environment. According to the 2017 Pulse of the Fashion Industry report, dyeing can require up to 150 litres of water per kilogram of fabric and, in developing countries, where most of the production takes place and where environmental legislation is not as strict as in the EU, the wastewater is often discharged unfiltered into waterways. The production of garments themselves uses a significant amount of energy for sewing, gluing, welding and seam taping equipment. The cut-offs that are left over after the patterns for the clothes have been cut out are also responsible for about 20 % of the industry's fabric waste. The JRC 2014 study on the Environmental improvement potential of textiles recommends a number of ways for reducing the environmental impacts of the processing and manufacturing phase, including reducing the consumption of chemicals, replacing them with enzymes,10 using dye controllers and dyeing machinery that require less water, and water recycling. It also recommends integral knitting, where a whole garment is produced in one piece without the need for cutting and sewing (however, the gains in lifecycle impacts may be offset by the high energy use of the integral knitting machines). Some companies are experimenting with novel dyeing processes, such as using CO2 as the dyeing medium instead of water (e.g. Dutch company DyeCoo), others are experimenting with different cuts, computer controlled tools for pattern making to use more of the fabric with fewer cut-offs, garments with no or fewer seams, bonding or gluing instead of sewing, etc.
Transport and distribution
Most textile raw materials and final products are imported into the EU, which means long delivery routes. However, according to our policies and Industry reports, at Pisani Maura™ this stage accounts for only 0.1 % of the climate-change impacts of the industry, as we have optimised the flow of goods. However, this phase is also characterised by waste generated through packaging, tags, hangers and bags, as well as by a large proportion of products that never reach consumers as the unsold leftovers are thrown away.
This is the phase that the JRC study estimated as having the largest environmental footprint in the lifecycle of clothes, owing to the water, energy and chemicals (primarily detergents) used in washing, tumble drying and ironing, and the microplastics shedding into water. The report therefore concluded that one of the most efficient ways to reduce the environmental impact of clothes is to persuade consumers to make small behavioural changes, such as reducing washing temperature, washing at full load, avoiding tumble-drying, purchasing eco-friendly fibres and donating clothes that are no longer used. Consumers can also lower the environmental impact of their garments by washing their clothes less frequently (and airing them instead) and avoiding unnecessary ironing. End of life Reliable and recent data on what happens to clothes once their owners decide to get rid of them are not readily available. Most clothes in the EU seem to be still thrown away and burned in incinerators, or end up in landfill where they release methane.11 The JRC quoted estimates by the Textile Recycling Association that only between 15 % and 20 % of textiles disposed of were collected for reuse or recycling in 2005.12 A study by European Clothing Action Plan (ECAP), which focused on six EU Member States, points to large differences between EU countries. It estimates that 11 % of used clothing and household textiles were collected in Italy in 2015 and more than 70 % in Germany
Environmental impact of textile and clothes industry in 2011, noting that there is some uncertainty about these figures as well. It is also unclear what proportion of the clothes collected is reusable and how much non-reusable.
Once clothes are collected, they can either be re-used as second hand clothes, or recycled. Currently, there are issues with both paths. Supply outstrips demand for second-hand clothes in the EU and a large share is exported, partly to East Asian or African countries. This has prompted accusations that cheap second-hand clothes cause the decline of local textile industries and that waste is exported to countries that are unable to deal with it. However, a study conducted for the Nordic Council of Ministers concluded that while used textiles may present a challenge to local textile production the gap is likely to be filled by increased imports of cheap new clothing from Asia. It also concluded that European clothing waste is in fact not exported to third countries.
Recycling also faces a number of issues, meaning that globally, only less than one percent of all materials that are used in clothing is recycled back into clothing.
This reflects a lack of technologies for sorting the collected clothing, separating blended fibres (although there are some promising new technologies that are able to separate the most common blend of cotton and polyester, such as Worn Again and Blend Re:wind), separating fibres from chemicals including colour during recycling, and establishing which chemicals were used in the production in the first place (which is one reason why it is easier to recycle factory waste such as cut-outs).In addition, technologies that would enable clothes to be recycled into virgin fibres are still inadequate. This is why most clothes are recycled mechanically; they are cut up and shredded, which means that the fibres are shorter, lower quality and lose 75 % of their value. They are therefore not usually used to manufacturing new clothes, but are rather down-cycled into insulation material, wiping cloths or mattress stuffing. New technologies enable mechanically recycled cotton to be mixed with polyester or manmade cellulosics. Technologies for chemical recycling that produce virgin fibres of a high quality are available for polyester and nylon and are slowly becoming available, but are not yet fully economically viable, for cotton and blends
Vegetable tanning is an artisan tradition that the Tuscan tanneries have handed down from father to son for centuries, mixing antique recipes and state-of-the-art technology.
The transformation from raw hides into a material that will resist throughout time is a process that slowly happens into wooden drums, in full respect of man and the environment. An astonishing process based on the use of natural tannins extracted from trees, on modern technologies and machineries and on the slow passing of time.
Among the various tanning methods, the vegetable tanning is still nowadays the most traditional, the most recognisable, the only one able to give leather unique characteristics. It is able to join comfort and look, fashion and tradition, uniqueness and versatility of the product.
Vacchetta leather does not lie, it is not afraid to be the testimony of time.
The vegetable tanning process is based on the use of tannin, active ingredient responsible for the transformation of the animal hide into a compact and resistant material durable through the years. This natural substance can be found in many different trees and vegetables, in variable concentration according to the different species. These natural tannin extracts make the vegetable-tanned leather unique and easily distinguishable.
Vegetable-tanned leather absorbs the traces of our life, it matures without ruining. The natural ageing does not compromise its resistance. It reveals the signs of time and use as the most personal expression of naturalness and truth. The colours of tannins give the leather an unmistakable warm and brilliant shade that becomes more intense with the passing of time and the daily use.
Choosing a product made of Tuscan Vegetable-Tanned Leather means choosing a one-of-a-kind object that reflects the owner’s lifestyle.
No leather looks like any other, its peculiar characteristics offer a wide range of possible interpretations in shape and design. Designers can find a material able to add value to a project of fashion, consumers can find a product overcoming fashion and trends and gaining value with the passing of time.
Vegetable tanning is a tanning process taking inspiration from nature and – in full harmony – to nature going back.
Vegetable-tanned leather does not contain any toxic substance harmful to man and is highly tolerable for those who suffer from metal related allergies.
Vegetable-tanned leather productive cycle is strictly monitored to ensure a low impact on the environment:
- No animal is killed for its skin. On the contrary, the raw hides used by our tanneries are the discarded by-products of the food industry producing meat for human consumption.
- Being tanned with natural tannins, a vegetable-tanned leather object can be easily disposed of at the end of its life, thanks to its chemical-biological characteristics.
- Our tanneries have made huge investments in depuration systems and waste recycling that make them work in full respect of man and the environment.
- Many of the substances used during the tanning process are recovered, recycled and reused in different fields. Hair removed from raw hides is transformed into agricultural fertilizer; sludge produced by the depuration plants is reused in the construction field to make bricks.
- Vegetable-tanned leather, recognizable from its trademark, does not contain any toxic substance such as azo-dyes, nickel, PCP or chrome VI
Finally those consumers who care about product’s quality and environmental protection have a reference trademark when they buy their leather products!