The textile industry is the world’s biggest freshwater polluter. Ethical brands have adopted various methods to counteract the large chemical output of the industry. However, California-based Patagonia’s approach features some unusual ingredients. Their new collection, the Clean Colour Collection is made of poop and dead bugs.
In an effort to create a line that replaces harmful chemicals with natural materials, Patagonia sourced 96 per cent the dye for their latest range from renewable sources, including dyes derived from the poop of silkworms, dried beetles and byproducts of food waste.
A recent report in Popular Science showed that silkworms can poop in a range of colours if they’re fed pre-dyed food. For Patagonia, an outdoor company, the critters produced a range of earth-tones. At the same time, dried beetles have been used to dye food red in many parts of the world.
In 2016, Founder Yvon Chouinard published wrote about the dangers of letting the textile industry run rampant: “The textile industry is one of the most chemically intensive industries on earth, second only to agriculture, and the world’s largest polluter of increasingly scarce freshwater. The World Bank estimates nearly 20 per cent of industrial water pollution comes from textile dyeing and treatment.”
The company is looking to reduce its environmental impact in a number of ways. With its Worn Wear range, Patagonia customers can trade-in their apparel if it’s still in good condition, reducing textile waste and spending.