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