Pumice – the not-so-beloved antagonist in the world of garment washing has been around for quite some time, and its origins are shrouded in mystery. However, the rumor has it that Italian denim manufacturers during the 1970s stumbled upon this magical stone when they were on a quest to soften and distress denim fabric. And voila! Pumice stones were the answer to their prayers. From then on, this trend spread like wildfire to other countries, including Turkey, India, China, and Bangladesh, where it still reigns supreme in the garment washing world.
How it slowly depleted environment of it’s most crucial safety?
Pumice mining isn’t all fun and games – it can have some pretty serious environmental impacts. Let’s take a look:
Mining for pumice can mean saying goodbye to natural habitats, particularly in areas with unique plant and animal species. The Lipari Islands in Italy have seen the destruction of their endemic Lipari thyme (Thymbra hirta) due to pumice mining. And it’s not just plants – wildlife habitats can also be impacted, leaving our feathered and scaly friends without a place to call home.
When topsoil and vegetation are removed during pumice mining, soil erosion can occur. This means less fertile land for farming, and an increased risk of landslides and soil erosion. So not only are we losing a natural resource, but we’re also damaging our ability to grow crops and keep our soil healthy.
Air and Water Pollution
Poorly managed pumice mining can lead to air and water pollution. Dust emissions from mining and transportation can make air quality worse, while runoff from mining sites can contaminate water sources with sediment and other pollutants. No one wants to breathe in dust or drink polluted water, right?
Depletion of Natural Resources
Finally, pumice mining can deplete natural resources, as we’re taking away from natural deposits. This can lead to the loss of pumice resources in certain areas, as well as the loss of ecosystem services provided by natural habitats. So maybe we need to start rethinking our pumice usage, and find ways to be more sustainable in our mining practices.
The fashion industry – always on the cutting edge of style, but not so much on the cutting edge of sustainability
Take pumice garment washing, for example. This technique might give your jeans that cowboy cool distressed look, but it comes at a cost – a water cost, to be exact. We’re talking thousands of liters of water per load of garments, people. And in water-scarce regions like Turkey, Bangladesh, and India, pumice garment washing is a major contributor to water stress. Plus, the contaminated wastewater that gets dumped into water bodies can do some serious damage to aquatic ecosystems and public health.
The denim industry’s environmental impacts don’t stop at water usage. Those synthetic fibers in your favorite pair of jeans? They can contribute to microplastic pollution in water bodies. And the waste generated by the industry – fabric scraps, chemicals, and wastewater – can add to landfills, water pollution, and a host of other environmental problems.
HMS on its way to play the UNO reverse card
We as a company are trying our best to mitigate the environmental impact of denim production! We’ve started using a process called HMS, or Hand Made Stones, as an alternative to pumice garment washing. Not only does this method use less water than pumice washing, but it also doesn’t require an Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP) to give its efficiency throughout the process.
We’re also trying to reverse the harm done by pumice washing by exploring even more sustainable production methods and materials. We love our denim just as much as the next person, but we also care about the health of the planet. That’s why we’re committed to finding ways to keep our fashion game strong without sacrificing the environment.
The circular denim movement
HMS is contributing greatly to the three principles of a circular economy for fashion –
- eliminating waste and pollution,
- keeping products and materials in use, and
- regenerating natural systems.
And it’s doing it all while being sustainable, fabric-friendly, and user-friendly!
HMS is an absolute waste and pollution eliminator.
Unlike other abrasives, it’s much more durable and only slightly shaves down at each wash. This means it doesn’t create sludge, which is a huge problem with other alternatives. The residue of HMS is so minimal that it can be filtered out in the wastewater system of the factory. No more dumping abrasive waste after just one or two uses – HMS can be used again and again (around 70-100 times) based on the principle of reuse.
Baytech is an upcycling enthusiast
HMS is made up of upcycled pumice dust that would otherwise end up in landfills, making it an eco-friendly choice.Since it requires much less water than conventional processes and doesn’t leave dust on garments, it’s suitable for dry stone processes with no water as well. So, no more waste, no more pollution – just a circular economy in action!
Workers are the priority
It doesn’t pose any harm to worker’s health, and it’s low maintenance, so the labor required to carry, load, store, and clean the stones is reduced by 70-100 times. This means a hassle-free, more organized work environment for everyone.
Best thing ever for the denim industry
HMS doesn’t interact with the inside of the fibers, making it safer for users. And since it works on the surface, removing only the desired amount of indigo, a garment washed with HMS is stronger and made to last. The vintage effects that HMS gives are always trendy and relevant, making emotional durability a win too.
So, there you have it – Why should you let go of pumice for real now and welcome HMS. It’s eliminating waste and pollution, keeping products and materials in use, and regenerating natural systems. And it’s doing it all while being worker-friendly, fabric-friendly, and user-friendly!