The first question one should ask is “Why sustainable home textiles?” And I don’t mean what makes them sustainable but rather why do we need sustainable home textiles, surely the production of a table cloth can’t be so bad?
We all know about the negative impacts the fashion industry has on the environment. Yet, the textile industry is far more encompassing than only fashion. It includes industrial textiles and most importantly, home textiles. And just like the fashion industry, the production methods and supply chains aren’t exactly clean. From the polluted rivers in Indonesia to the inordinate amount of water needed to produce one cotton t-shirt, the textile industry in general has a lot of work to do to improve its footprint on the environment.
With the big fast fashion houses also dipping their toes in interior design (looking at you, H&M) and giving it their distinctive taste of fast fashion (high turnover is wanted and the default basis of their business model after all), raising the awareness of the footprint of all textile production becomes more and more urgent.
There is a terrible lack of scientific research conducted on the actual environmental footprint of textile production. However, the facts that are known are harrowing enough in themselves without the need to add the moniker of “second biggest polluter after the oil industry” to bring the point across.
So returning to the original question “how bad can the production of a table cloth be?” - well, bad. But this shouldn’t discourage us but rather motivate us to try to make better choices when we can. Which is where SWF comes in!