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What is Cradle-to-Cradle?

Cradle-to-cradle design (also referred to as Cradle to Cradle, C2C, cradle 2 cradle, or regenerative design) is a biomimetic approach to the design of products and systems. It models human industry on nature's processes viewing materials as nutrients circulating in healthy, safe metabolisms. It suggests that industry must protect and enrich ecosystems and nature's biological metabolism while also maintaining a safe, productive technical metabolism for the high-quality use and circulation of organic and technical nutrients.


Put simply, it is a holistic economic, industrial and social framework that seeks to create systems that are not only efficient but also essentially waste free. The model in its broadest sense is not limited to industrial design and manufacturing; it can be applied to many aspects of human civilization such as urban environments, buildings, economics and social systems.


The term Cradle to Cradle is a registered trademark of McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC) consultants. Cradle to Cradle product certification began as a proprietary system; however, in 2012 MBDC turned the certification over to an independent non-profit called the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute.



How Pratibha is C2C certified?

Material

Material Health

Material Health is the cornerstone of the Pratibha’s C2C Gold Certified Product. The choice of fibres, dyes, finishes and process chemicals has wide-ranging ramifications: it determines if the apparel can eventually be safely composted or reused in industry (Material Reutilization); it affects the amount of energy required for making garments (Renewable Energy and Carbon Management); it affects the amount of water used and the quality of the wastewater (Water Stewardship); and it influences the health and well-being of the workers, the communities surrounding the factories, and thecustomers.


For the purpose of C2C certification of shirts, we worked with accredited assessor MBDC to optimize itsmaterials. The first step in the process was to submit an initial BOM to MBDC for assessment. Although we follow almost all the high level industry standards with regard to dyes & chemicals, GOTS, OEKOTEX, are few to name, but we were surprised to know that many of our dye & chemicals could not qualify C2C standards of Material Health. In the initial assessment our dye and process chemicals were assessed X and, GREY (due to incomplete formulation).


MBDC followed up with the Tier 2 suppliers for more information for the GREY-assessed materials, and in many instances received complete formulations from the initial inquiry. Where the Tier 2 suppliers would not or could not provide complete formulations for their products, MBDC suggested replacement suppliers – suppliers willing to share their formulations and that already had suitable materials assessed as


A, B or C. In this way, all GREY-assessed materials were eliminated from both BOMs. Since A, B, and C materials are considered optimized from a C2C perspective, only the X-assessed materials remained for phase-out and substitution.


We were able to replace x-assessed dyes with dyes from Dystar that meet the requirements for C2C PLATINUM in Material Health. The reason many of the dyes were assessed X initially was due to organochlorine in the dye molecules (all organohalogen are assessed X due to potential for persistence, bioaccumulation, and toxicity), and/or skin sensitization potential.


At present we have we have an enhanced color pallet of 100 colors from C2C approved dyes (Dystar).

Material Reutilization

Material Reutilisation in the Cradle to Cradle (C2C) Shirt Certified Program is about converting linear systems into circular systems, so that the value of good materials is maintained or even increased.


In the aspiration to “Eliminate the concept of waste” – we created C2C Gold & Platinum (protos) certified shirts which are safe to go in the biological cycle, where each component of the shirt will act as nutrient and 100% of it can be safely returned to nature.


C2C Certified Criteria for Material Reutilization:

Two components were involved in the C2C Gold Certification program for Material Reutilisation: the score and the reutilisation plan.


  1. MR Score

    We have reached GOLD for C2C Certified shirts for C&A. The calculated MR score was 99.5; what prevented a score of 100 was the use of synthetic dyes.

  2. MR Plan

    C&A has prepared a “nutrient management strategy” for shirts including scope, timeline and budget and has implemented a campaign related to these shirts, which instruct customers how to return the garments. Customers have a choice: either taking them to textile collection points or sending them to theFashion for Good Centre (to be used in chemical recycling pilots).

Platinum Prototype- Tank Top (100%, Undyed, Organic Cotton)

We have successfully launched C2C Platinum Certified- Tank Top in the month of March, 2017 at Fashion for Good center.
In this top we have completely eliminated elastane by replacing it with 2x1 ribbed knit structure.

Other relevant points to the topic

  1. Mechanical recycling machine- We have an in-house mechanical recycling machine which recycles cotton fabric and convert it into a reusable form.
  2. Our offerings under C2C Gold & Platinum criteria – Tencel, Organic Cotton, Polyester (Antimony free)

Water Stewardship

Pratibha's efficient water management strategy is based on reduce, reuse & recycle principles.We do not contribute to the stress on the local watershed, as we have an on-site effluent-treatment plant that effectively cleans the water via mechanical and biological processes. The on-site water-treatment system has a capacity of 2,000 kilolitres of water a day and has a water recovery efficiency of 93%.

The process water is continuously cleaned and reutilised on-site.

The only water imported from the local watershed is for drinking and utility purposes, as well as to compensate for process losses.

Reduce

1) Water efficient technologies and processes such as-

  1. Mechanical recycling machine- We have an in-house mechanical recycling machine which recycles cotton fabric and convert it into a reusable form.
  2. Our offerings under C2C Gold & Platinum criteria – Tencel, Organic Cotton, Polyester (Antimony free)

2) Preferred Material Selection Strategy- Fibers which have low water requirement

  1. Dyed Fiber
  2. Fiber Dyeing

3) Right first time

Reduce

1) Water efficient technologies and processes such as-

  1. Mechanical recycling machine- We have an in-house mechanical recycling machine which recycles cotton fabric and convert it into a reusable form.
  2. Our offerings under C2C Gold & Platinum criteria – Tencel, Organic Cotton, Polyester (Antimony free)

2) Preferred Material Selection Strategy- Fibers which have low water requirement

  1. Dyed Fiber
  2. Fiber Dyeing

3) Right first time

Reuse

Reuse

  1. Reuse Brine Solution
  2. Reuse process water

Recycle

  1. 1) Continuous innovation and improvement in water recycling
  2. 2) Increase the use of recycled water in the entire water mix

Rain water harvesting -We have rain water harvesting in PSL 6 facility which makes it 4 times water positive.

Rain water harvesting -We have rain water harvesting in PSL 6 facility which makes it 4 times water positive.

Renewable Energy

Metering energy consumption- We have placed energy meters across all the optimum locations to identify inefficiencies in the production process.

Energy Efficient Motors – We are using servo-motor sewing machines which leads to significant amount of energy savings.


Benefits of servo motors

  1. runs when actually in use
  2. consumes just 20–40% of the energy used by a clutch motor
  3. more user-friendly
  4. generates almost no heat

Renewable Energy – Our 30 % of the total power consumption is renewable

AHU – Instead of using air conditioners we are using Air handling unit which saves more than 60% energy.

LED Lights- Replaced 10,000 conventional lights with LED lights. 50 % power saving in the lightning

Harmonic Controller - We have placed harmonic controller in the electrical distribution unit of the plant that leads to power saving of 3% in the overall electricity consumption.

Solar Set-up - In the process of installing 2 MW solar set-up in the main plant.

Social Fairness @ Pratibha

Pratibha is a socially enlightened and environmentally conscious organization which offers rational exuberance for sustainable business. It strongly believes that profits must not preclude people and environment and its integrated value chain from farm to fiber to garment makes a formidable business case.


For the idea of sustainable fashion to propagate, it works closely with more than 30,000 farmers and spins the magic into high end fashion garment with a strong team of 10,000 employees for internationally reputed buyers in over 20 countries.