PICTURE tackles the issue of sustainability in the textile industry from within.
Consumerism and capitalism are arguably the main reasons why the textile industry has gone to such heights in the last decades. The textile industry is currently responsible for 8% of the world’s carbon emission and it’s no secret that it is one of the most polluting forces around.
As society becomes more and more aware of the consequences of carbon emissions, we are beginning to witness a shift in purchasing habits as more consumers are starting to prioritise sustainable products. However, there’s still a long way to go, so what can we do to help to make the textile industry more sustainable?
In 2008, three childhood friends, Julien, Jérémy and Vincent, took it upon themselves to tackle the issue of sustainability in the textile industry from within. They did it by creating a brand that offers sustainable solutions all the way from the supply chain and manufacturing to shipping.
PICTURE’s mission is to fight climate change through their passion for boardsports and the greater outdoors partially by using their business and influence to do so. “We fully understand that we are both part of the problem and part of the solution.”, the brand states, “The problem is that everything we do has an impact on the environment. This fact is undeniable.”
The current situation we face isn’t good. For several years now, the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) has warned us about the outcome if we do not start implementing some drastic changes to limit the effects of global warming. If we do not start taking the matter seriously, we’re facing a major increase in extreme weather events, diminishing sea ice in the Arctic and rising sea levels resulting in certain areas becoming inhabitable for millions of people.
In order to really affect change, you need to change the system from the inside. As mentioned earlier, the textile industry is at the forefront when it comes to carbon emissions, and in order to promote change, you have to change the way the whole industry works from within. So, what is PICTURE doing to help slow down global warming? Here’s what.
100 % of PICTURE’s products are made of organic materials, recycled materials, bio-sourced materials, re-used materials and/or animal-based materials, while 92 % of the cotton they use is organic. By using organic cotton as opposed to conventional, PICTURE reduces their carbon emissions by 46% and water usage by 91%.
Since 2008, PICTURE has also used recycled plastic bottles to produce snow jackets and thus, by choosing to use recycled polyester, the brand reduces its dependence on oil. Whilst recycling too requires energy, it’s about 40% less than it takes for crude oil extraction. Using recycled plastic bottles is not a long-term solution but it’s a good alternative for now.
In the long run, PICTURE is looking to reduce their use of synthetic materials that are both, directly and indirectly, petroleum-based in their technical apparel by increasing the proportion of bio-sourced fabrics.
For FW20, PICTURE introduced their first bio-sourced and recyclable polyester made from sugar cane waste unfit for human consumption. Sugar cane is a C4 plant type, meaning it captures a lot of CO2 during its growing phase (60t per hectare per year). Even though some of this CO2 is released during the harvest, 18t remains in the soil. And as the plant regrows, it will re-capture the CO2.
But it isn’t just about wiping out the use of fossil fuels when it comes to choosing the right materials, the fossil fuels need to be wiped out at every level of the process. Companies need to start looking beyond the fabrics and put more focus on the type and amount of energy that is used to manufacture the products, including the plastic bags that are often used to protect the end products.
Eliminating polybags for packaging a single product is one of the most radical and effective solutions in the fight against plastic use and, as of 2020/2021, PICTURE is on a mission to eliminate all excess packaging. But what are the alternatives to polybags?
By rolling the garment and tying it up with a piece of string the product will maintain its shape. This technique can be applied to t-shirts, jumpers and pants, dresses, shorts, and chinos. It still requires using a big polybag to protect all the products shipped in a single cardboard box. However, the reduction of plastic is still huge.
Reducing the size of the polybags used for technical apparel.
Technical products tend to be heavier, bigger and higher in value, meaning they’ll need proper protection. This makes it hard to eliminate the use of polybags. Folding the items in thirds, however, does allow PICTURE to use smaller polybags – which is a step in the right direction, for sure.
Since 2015, Surfdome has been on the same mission when it comes to tackling plastic pollution. In 2020, 99.8% of Surfdome’s outbound packaging was plastic-free. And as for the packaging received by the customers, it is 100% plastic-free (however, some products still come in poly bags inside the plastic-free packaging).
For SS21, PICTURE is removing the Poly Bags from most of the items delivered to Surfdome. Only the light-coloured items will remain in poly bags, simply to protect them as they mark much more easily.
Going forward, PICTURE is looking to tackle the issue of how to generate the energy that is required to power the machines in their product manufacturing supply chain (spinning, weaving, dyeing and finishing, assembling). These stages add up to 83% of the greenhouse gases emissions emitted, whilst fibre production (including raw material extraction) only accounts for 15%; leaving transportation and end of life at 2%.
PICTURE is currently in the process of measuring their carbon emissions. Once that is done, they’ll be able to determine the specific reduction goals for the company. This will then serve to guide how they reduce their emissions to contribute to the 1.5°C objective.
As great as it is that PICTURE is taking the necessary means to fight climate change, it does take more than just one brand to make a difference. If we want to continue to venture off the beaten path and enjoy nature to its fullest, the textile and outdoors industry as a whole must step up. Even if the emissions are local, their impacts are global.
Picture Lifestyle Collection
PICTURE Streetwear Line
Whilst PICTURE’s original focus lays on providing technical snow sports apparel with an eco-friendly touch, the brand has begun to venture beyond this path as they continue to grow. By expanding their line and offering eco-friendly options that are as suited for summer outdoor sports as they are for a stroll through the city, PICTURE’s Streetwear Range offers a bunch of eco-friendly designs inspired by nature and wilderness.
New for SS21, PICTURE’s thrown in some new prints and colours to brighten up the summer, whilst making sure the line offers both comfort and style. Whether you’re looking for something to throw on for a walk in the woods or for roaming around the streets of a big city, PICTURE’s got you covered.
Staying true to their mission to fight climate change, this entire line is made from organic cotton (GOTS & Organic Blended Content Standard certified) whilst the products are made in factories that are members of the Fair Wear Foundation.
PICTURE’s also big on using Tencel. The Tencel fibres are found in wood pulp, which is a renewable raw material created by photosynthesis, and it’s harvested from all-natural material. The fibres are also manufactured using an environmentally responsible production process and help to maintain environmental balance by being integrated into nature’s cycle as they are certified as both compostable and biodegradable (as long as not mixed with other synthetic fibres).
Here are a few of our favourites:
The activewear line is based on the same idea as PICTURE’s snow products – offer technical eco-engineered performance gear combined with style and freedom of movement. Body mapping, reflective logos, breathability, fast drying, stretch fabrics & high technologies define this line.
84% of the activewear line is made from recycled polyester, reducing PICTURE’s CO2 emissions by 40%. Each product has also been treated with a durable PFC-free water-repellent coating, while the entire range is Global Recycled Standard certified (member factories of the Fair Wear Foundation).
For SS21, PICTURE’s expanded this line even further by offering new products for more functionality, while staying true to their original style.
PICTURE Surf line
When riding sideways is the ethos of your brand, surfing inevitably becomes part of it. PICTURE is offering a wide range of wetsuits, boards shorts and swimwear that live and breathe the ethos of PICTURE – eco-engineered and functional.
By using materials like EicoPrene, a sustainable alternative for conventional oil-based neoprene made from a mixture of limestone (70%) and recycled tires(30%), and Econyl recycled polyester/recycled nylon, PICTURE can offer quality wetsuits that not only last long but also have a smaller environmental impact. PICTURE want’s to set an example for the rest of the market by offering wetsuits made out of already existing materials (like tires and fishing nets). By showing that there’s an alternative solution to the materials used for wetsuits, the brand hopes to set a new, more sustainable, standard on the market.
New for this season, PICTURE introduces a new neoprene technology called Flexskin, an eco-friendly neoprene that offers ultimate stretch and freedom of movement in the water. By making the suit highly flexible around the arms, shoulders and upper-body, you won’t feel restrained while paddling either.
By Stella Pentti