production / ethics

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  • It's OK. My newest bike is over 10 years old. I have no plans to pollute the world by buying a new one.

  • This was something I was thinking about recently with the explosion in e-bike and e-scooters. While I'm generally for the idea of less cars on the road, do these electric vehicles have planned obsolescence built into them like a smartphone would? Anything new and trending in technology tends not to have a long shelf life, it's not profitable.

  • Don't know about planned obsolence (isn't that illegal by now?) but what my limited understanding tells me is that there are a lot of factors that make an Ebike quite unserviceable compared to a normal bike.
    For example I doubt that you will be able to get spares for your Bosch motor in ten years for example.

  • Compared to cars, they are favourable even accounting for end-of-life waste. That Guardian article is worth a read on all this.

  • Cheers for sharing, will have a read.

  • From what I understand, current studies don't show e-scooters replacing car journeys, mostly bike, walking and public transport ones. Can read more about it in the escooters thread on here somewhere.

  • On the PFOA/Fluorinated coatings & chemistry, something that puzzled me for years is - and this entirely my conclusion - is that they are also used in the best-performing membrane production. This seemed to be an elephant in the room, that no-one wanted to acknowledge, or look into alternatives. I say, my conclusion, because there was zero information about it.

    The most 'breathable/waterproof' membranes use ePTFE - expanded polytetrafluoroethylene - to create a hydrophobic microporous structure. Clearly a fluorinated polymer, which utilises PFOAs (or similar) in production

    For years, countries and the outdoor industry has been phasing out fluorinated DWR coatings - great! - yet the membrane was never mentioned? You have garments sold on the eco DWR (and recycled content), but the same old chemistry sandwiched inside the fabric - ?? And no discussion about this paradox. Infact, if you look at membrane websites etc, ePTFE is actively omitted from copy, with more woolly language around it.

    So, was amazed to see this today - very precisely worded to avoid drawing attention to the bulk of their business, and a mention of PFC's (perfluorinated chemicals) at the end
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/timnewcomb/­2021/09/29/gore-tex-announces-thinner-su­stainable-membrane-for-apparel-footwear/­

    As I say, this is entirely my conjecture (and I'd love to be wrong!), but it seems insane that was largely being ignored until now.

    nb. it's worth highlighting that it's not the actual DWR or ePTFE that is toxic, but the PFOA and similar compound byproducts created in the manufacture. They're actually massively stable ...hence why they're also so persistent in the environment :/

  • ....and also I don't mean to scare-monger. Many waterproofs are simple PU (polyurethane) membranes or coatings, or sometimes PA (polyacrylate). Good old plastic!

  • Reminds me I need to rewax my Barbour…

  • Very interesting. I was wondering since reading that road.cc article (above) how much work is being done on developing non-petroleum-based synthetics...whilst its great that a number of companies are using (often v. high %) recycled materials (e.g. water bottles to polyester, or old garments to produce new) there's still a connection (i.e. market / demand relationship) to petrochemical / fossil fuel extraction - even if it's using the so-called waste of this process. I realize this is one more can of worms, but would be curious to know what progress is being made on this (it seems to be possible from what I can find online...)

  • My understanding is that it is relatively simple to use organic alternatives to petrochemical source for synthetics, it's just the supply & processing isn't as well established. Crude oil and coal is made from organic matter - animals and plants - it's just that pressure & heat is applied for millions of years.

    I frequently see Castor bean as the source for 'bio-nylon'; it's a compelling story, because the plant can be grown in areas unsuitable for other crops, and uses very little water.

    Additionally, materials are being created using waste from seafood industry, with mollusc and crustacean shells as raw material for polymer synthetics (not which fibre they create).

    I don't know enough about this, but figure the interesting thing would be carbon sequestering, where a fabric captures atmospheric carbon from a rapidly growing plant, in quantities more than used to create the fabric ....is this even possible? Open to criticism - why not just let the plant grow/decompose, surely this is more efficient carbon capture? The plastics still contribute microfibres that take 200 years to break down?

  • I enjoyed this article in the Guardian today on a new website to help people find local businesses that can fix/alter clothes.

    https://www.theguardian.com/fashion/2021­/nov/15/this-weeks-fix-repairing-a-moth-­eaten-jumper

    https://www.theseam.uk/

  • Have actually been looking to learn to do this myself - all the places I've found have been sold out!

  • Updating the first post as I spotted Alpkit published their sustainability report. Please let me know any other updates / new developments you may have spotted (afraid I've been distracted by other commitments recently...)...

  • Sorry for v brief post, but visited Performance Days last week. Felt like finally conversations were being had beyond simply ‘recycled’ or ‘organic’ - sometimes difficult topics to talk about openly

    The site is a great resource, here’s the orientation piece on the show theme;

    https://www.performancedays.com/loop/foc­us-topic/2022-11-the-journey-to-carbon-n­eutrality-ii.html

    With lots of interesting speakers/panels going online next week.

    A big one for me was confirmation that PFC/PFOA is definitely being phased out through policy, so multinational providers of waterproof fabrics are winding down their most effective w/p membrane(s). Reproofing/care of post-pfc is going to become more important - as is repair/resale of pfc-era garments.

  • someone posted Folk clothing link the other day in fashion thread; i read their About section; literally says nothing, just guff: https://www.folkclothing.com/pages/about­-us

    where is this stuff made?

  • Folk shirt I have says nothing about origin on the care tag either!

  • Not for me, but a newer, similar more transparent brand is Pajotten.

  • A big one for me was confirmation that PFC/PFOA is definitely being phased out through policy, so multinational providers of waterproof fabrics are winding down their most effective w/p membrane(s). Reproofing/care of post-pfc is going to become more important - as is repair/resale of pfc-era garments.

    https://road.cc/content/tech-news/gore-t­ex-retires-shakedry-waterproof-fabric-mo­re-tech-news-297593

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production / ethics

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