Sri Lanka Boasts World's First Carbon-Neutral Underwear Factory

Green clothing is about far more than choice of fabric. Knowing that under garments are often made in developing economies, for example, the customer stereotype might well involve coal-fired incandescent lamps hung over rows of toiling women and children.

Set aside those bad lingerie thoughts: MAS Holdings of Sri Lanka has a hot green date with the global economy. Their factory is advertised as a world first for carbon neutrality. And it sounds as good as this model looks. There's no refrigerant-filled compressor for air conditioning.

Instead it uses evaporative cooling, which leaves the workplace around four degrees hotter than air-conditioning would—but uses much less energy.
The factory includes natural lighting of workspace, green roof, and so on. With the result that:
Overall it uses 40% less energy than an ordinary factory of the same size. And the electricity it uses is from renewable sources: 90% from a hydro-power plant and 10% from on-site solar panels.

We suggest a look at the MAS website for details on their social responsibility programs as well.

The money quote:

The factory cost $7m to build, around 25% more than its traditional equivalent. That is partly due to a lot of fancy touches included to meet M&S;'s demand for an "iconic" factory. Stripped to its basic design, it would have cost about 15% over the odds. The factory's power also costs extra. But in a country that generates 65% of its electricity with imported oil—and saw power-price inflation of 30% in March—the extra costs are offset by energy savings. MAS expects the higher construction costs to have paid for themselves in less than five years.

Via::WBCSD, & The Economist of May 31, 2008, Get your green pants here - Eco-manufacturing

Image credit::MAS Holdings, lingerie model

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