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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

How completely different supplies decompose – The Aigat pond – Everlasting Type


Final week I wrote about the loopwheel knitter Aigat, some of the specialised producers of loopwheel material – for sweatshirts, T-shirts and so forth – in Japan. 

One thing I needed to avoid wasting for a separate article was the show they’d of their reception, the place they’d decomposed completely different materials of their backyard. 

The manufacturing facility is about in enticing grounds, with water pouring down from the mountains behind. Establishing them, and operating the manufacturing facility alongside environmental traces, has been a ardour of the founder. 

In the midst of the backyard is a nice pond, however just a few years in the past the group crammed the entire thing and components of the backyard with lengths of cloth, made up of various fibres (cotton, rayon, polyester). 

The concept was to have private, bodily expertise of how a lot better pure materials – like their very own – break down within the atmosphere. 

The outcomes are displayed in chronological order on the board, under. 

The primary strip on the left is the unique material. The strips with pink labels on the high are those that have been buried within the floor (after 50 days, 100 days, 200 days, as labelled), whereas the blue labels are those who have been within the pond (once more, after 50, 100 and 200 days). 

The strips themselves are then divided vertically into completely different fibres. First, two completely different finenesses of polyester, then a polyester/cotton combine, then two finenesses of rayon, and at last cotton.

When you click on on the picture, it ought to open in a lightbox, and you may then click on on it once more to zoom in. Or you’ll be able to proper click on and open in a brand new tab, and zoom in there.

The rayon was the primary to go – an artificial material, however in fact made with regenerated pure cellulose, so it broke down simply.  

The cotton is barely simply seen, mendacity on the desk on the backside, however it broke down just a bit slower than the rayon, principally eaten away within the water after 50 days, and fully gone after 100. 

However the polyester stored going and going. After 200 days, in water or soil, it had shrunk just a little however was in any other case fantastic. 

Maybe scariest of all is the cotton/polyester combine. You may suppose this could be just a little higher than pure polyester, however it’s just about the identical, regardless of a number of the cotton breaking down. 

I wasn’t shocked on the outcomes, however it was highly effective seeing the method somewhat than simply being instructed about it.  

It additionally made me recognize rayon (or viscose) just a little extra. There are many issues fallacious with it in fact, together with the supplies minimize right down to make it and the processes used, however it’s definitely higher than polyester and nylon on this respect. Different pure supplies utilized in high-end menswear, corresponding to wools and vegetable-tanned leathers, are additionally higher in that method.

We most likely cannot get into all of the nuances of fabric sustainability right here – and quantity of consumption is mostly the most important situation – however on this one facet the purpose is fairly compelling.

Aigat, I ought to add, solely use pure cotton and generate their manufacturing energy 60-70% from photo voltaic panels on the roof. Actively rising the backyard helps a bit with the CO2 emissions as effectively. 

For extra on PS about sustainability, see:

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