1 kg of cotton, pattern swatch
1 kg of polyester, pattern swatch

Resources Pattern

Achieving transparency in fashion system through data visualization

Description. Presented here is a swatch for a repeat pattern design. The swatch comes in a form of a chart (infographic). Readable with the help of a legend, it represents the amount of resources used for production of cotton and polyester. This project is a work in progress and is currently in printing stage (I am digitally printing it on textile).

How it works. Each square of a pattern swatch represents amount of resources used to create 1 kg of textile, cotton or polyester respectively.

Because of complex and dislocated processes of textile production it is impossible to know exact data required to create this infographic pattern. Data presented in this project is a combination of data collected from below stated sources*. In the production of cotton and polyester various resources are used, I decided to present water, CO2 emission, energy consumption, oil and pesticides usage as according to the table:

Cotton vs Polyester resources comparison
 

Background. Primary goal of this project is to raise the issues regarding resources used in textile production and compare production of cotton to production of polyester. A common misconception is that cotton is more favorable material because of it’s cellulose nature. However, as we can see it the pattern, to produce 1 kg of cotton vast amounts of water are needed, more CO2 than in polyester case and also pesticides. Polyester in the other hand, requires more energy and is sourced from oil.

These are not lone problems in textile productions. There are multiple issues that this project does not touch on, some of them: usage of agriculture land for textile production, labor conditions, recyclability of material, health considerations, dying processes, use of renewable energies, etc.
 

Conclusion. Aim of this project is to raise awareness of resources used in textile production by the visualization the data. Through visual language information becomes easily readable and is transpired at a faster speed. This project would like to bring about the need for a more transparent textile manufacturing system. Transparency provides knowledge necessary for designers and consumers to make educated choices, and by doing so limit their impact on environment.

 

*Sources:

http://msi.apparelcoalition.org
http://budker.berkeley.edu
http://www.sustainability-ed.org.uk/
http://wwf.panda.org/
https://oecotextiles.wordpress.com