Tessitura Florida

Tessitura Florida and Biological Textiles

In 2003 Tessitura Florida participated in the project promoted by the Municipality of Carpi for the creation of a biological textile supply chain of external knitwear, for which the Carpi Area represents a production excellence worldwide.
The declared aim of the project is to combine the quality of “made in Italy” with the requirements of transparency and eco-sustainability needed in all the phases of the production cycle in order to maintain the integrity of the biological fabric: from the yarn, to the fabric, to the finished garment. The choice of producing biological textiles is very demanding for a company, since this means increasing technological complexity and the “ethical” level of its own production and/or workings.
Three companies of the Carpi Area supply chain have obtained the AIAB Certification for Biological Textiles so far, and these are: Tessitura Florida for fabrics, David-Tex for external kniwear and Tintoria Stellatex for dyes and finishings.
This certification involves four different aspects:


- elimination of  environmental risks: caution in the use of pesticides in crops and of chemicals in order to reduce or avoid the risk of diseases and/or allergies

- efficient use of resources: water consumption is highly significant

- pollution and waste reduction: installation of wastewater treatment systems and special care for solid waste management

- implementation of social justice: attention to working conditions and protection of workers’ rights, elimination of child employment, health and safety at work, etc…




The brand  brand certifies a textile product obtained from a biological natural fiber and the fact that workings have been carried out according to a special production standard:


- the product has been obtained in compliance with the EEC Regulation 2092/91;

- the product has not undergone any chlorine-based bleaching processes;

- the product has not absorbed any substances containing heavy metals such as nickel, chrome, copper or cobalt during the dyeing and printing processes.

What is more, the certification enables the traceability both of the raw material used and of the working phases carried out to obtain the finished garment. The supplier shall take care and be responsible for highlighting this kind of information on the garment.


Creation and testing of  “traceability” procedures, products, working phases and raw materials used.



Biological Textiles - General information


The market for biological textile products was born in the early 90’s when the Fashion Industry began to launch new textiles both in the USA and in Europe marketing them as green, natural and environmentally friendly. Of course this was done by leading companies with brands known worldwide and which could afford to take upon themselves the responsibility of huge investments.
All this was aimed at using raw materials, at the beginning biological cotton and, to a lesser extent, biological wool, grown without employing pesticides, synthetic chemicals, fertilisers, growth stimulators and defoliants, which are responsible for soil pollution and several diseases, from crop growing to its final use.
In recent years, then, cotton growing draw the attention of genetic engineering; genetically-modified cotton was first obtained in 1996 and is now widespread all over the world; biological cotton growing represents about 1% of the world’s conventional cotton production.
Moreover, the companies using biological cotton behave according to a deontological code, by now acknowledged at the global level, which envisages utmost care and protection for workers from a human, social, environmental and health-conscious point of view.
Biological textile producers have also focused their attention on the textile supply chain, in such a way that all the workings leading to the creation of the finished garment are natural and non-toxic. 
On this purpose, they began to operate worldwide with a great number of bodies in charge of biological textile certification which, according to registered production standards, were responsible for testing raw materials and inspecting plants and work places in order to release a special brand meant to distinguish a biological textile production from a conventional one and, therefore, to safeguard the consumer. Such bodies must have their own production standards credited by IFOAM (International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements), an international organisation based in Germany which gathers over 750 members.
The consumer is then certain to purchase a biological textile product only when this bears the brand of an acknowledged certifying body. 
At present certifying bodies from all over the world are making a common attempt towards standardisation in order to define a common production standard (the “Global Standard”).




Biological cotton growing started in the late 80’s and in 1990 companies growing cotton were little more than 100 as compared to a surface of 380 hectares and a total production of 113 tons. Since then, production has increased showing considerable growth over the period 2000-2005, during which production passed from 6,480 tons in the season 2000-2001 to over 30,000 tons during  the campaign 2005-2006. Such growth seems, though, to have entered a tumultuous new phase, since the forecast for the 2006-2007 season is of about 50,000 tons, with an increase by 61,81% as compared to the previous campaign.



The Textile Industry Demand

In 2004 textile companies which brought biologically grown cotton yarns and fabrics to market were little more than 70. According to Organic Exchange data, that number had exceeded 200 by the end of 2005.
The demand for cotton fibre by textile companies passed from 23,000 tons in 2005 to remarkably bigger quantities in the following years: the Organic Exchange estimates 100,000 tons will be reached in 2008!



The Italian Situation

In Italy the interest for Biological Textiles has been supported and brought forward in recent years by the Italian Association for Biological Agriculture (AIAB), which in 1999 organised the first International Conference on this subject and in the year 2000 adopted the first and only Italian Standard for the production of Biological Textile Products. The certification of biological textiles according to this standard is released by the Institute for Ethical and Environmental Certification (ICEA) which also releases a licence to use the AIAB Biological Textile brand.

Concerning the extent of the BIO textile sector in Italy, it is rapidly increasing the number of certified companies that supply a wide range of textile items, such as yarns, knitted fabrics and denim articles destined to the Clothing and Household Linen sector. In addition, companies supplying articles destined to the sanitary or personal care sector (cotton wool, nonwoven fabrics, cleaning) should also be considered. The company type and size requiring and obtaining certification witness the positive phase the sector is experiencing and offer an optimistic view toward the near future.



The case of Uzbekistan

The Aral Sea Region, in Uzbekistan, represents with no doubt the most dramatic and brightest example of the effects of intensive production of conventional cotton: due to the huge quantities of water used to irrigate cotton fields, what was once the world’s fourth-largest inland sea on earth has now shrunk to one third of its former geographical size. In addition, salt concentration has grown from 10 to 34 g/l and, as a consequence, flora and fauna have been swept off. 1.3 million hectares of cultivated land, that is about 42% of the cultivable surface area of Uzbekistan, shows saliferous soil areas. As the Aral Sea has lost its mitigating effects, the climate has become more continental (Becker P., 1992). Water supply to the population comes from surface waters highly polluted with pesticides. This ecological catastrophe is not without consequences on human beings: since the mid-70’s the number of hereditary illnesses, of stomach and intestine infectious diseases as well as of respiratory illnesses has remarkably increased. Child mortality is high and deformities have become more and more frequent (Reller, A. e Gerstenberg, J., 1997).

Tessitura Florida