As one of the biggest manufacturers in the world, and as an undisputed market leader in Latin America of denim and flat woven fabric VICUNHA TEXTIL S.A. is setting standards in matters concerning sustainability, environmental conservation, service and social responsibility. The Brazilian denim specialist is working continually to boost its exemplary global status.

BCI COTTON

Sustainable cotton production through better social conditions for cotton farmers, treating nature and its resources with respect and promoting sustainable farming for the future in the crop growing countries form the focal points of the BCI efforts. Water is used only very judiciously to grow cotton. The use of standard chemicals is reduced to a minimum.

REDUCE

VICUNHA runs a biodegradable waste water system, maximum use of water is obtained during production by harvesting and re-reusing it. They are now producing articles with new dye technology which uses less water. The dye is absorbed and fixed to the fabric without additional washes to remove excess dye. This method uses 80% less water.

RE-USE

VICUNHA maximizes its energy efficiency by harvesting and re-using both energy and water wherever possible. In the production of fabrics they operate with a heat exchange system. This heats up the incoming with the outgoing water to 60 degrees.

VICUNHA also recycles and re-uses chemicals. This can be obtained by a 100% recovery of caustic soda, which is separated from the water, both are then able to be re-used. Every part of production is tuned to maximize energy efficiency and minimize waste.

RECYCLE

Every single piece of precious BCI cotton is used, there is absolutely no waste in the production of VICUNHA fabric. They recycle their own cotton in-house. Any waste obtained is harvested and re-used. The recycled cotton is re-spun and woven back into fabric. When the fibers become too short to use they will be used to make briquettes which fuel the boilers.

VICUNHA creates zero landfill.

ENVIRONMENTALLY RESPONSIBLE

VICUNHA produces fabric with the utmost respect for the environment. They are using less virgin cotton, optimizing soil occupation, and avoid transport and pollution by using local materials wherever possible.

SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

VICUNHA runs many social initiatives in the area, providing education for many of the local disadvantaged youngsters, with the opportunity of additional training and further education for its employees.

The Pescar Project is funded independently by Vicunha, supporting youths facing serious hardship.

Valued employees.

The Japanese Kaizen system is fully implemented within the factories and is embraced by all VICUNHA employees. Every employee has the power to offer new ideas for continuous improvement in efficiency and quality.* {see below}

Full traceability.

VICUNHA operates with a bar code system to track back to the very plot in which the cotton was harvested, offering traceability on every roll of fabric.

VICUNHA is carbon neutral.

The boilers are fired on cashew and coconut shells that are abundant in the region and would otherwise go to waste. No chemicals are released into the atmosphere, the CO2 emissions are harvested and used in the water treatment plant as part of the water cleaning process.

 

* note from the editor: this is totally an amazing concept and it really works. I saw this with my own eyes when I was visiting the Vicunha factory last year in Brazil

2 COMMENTS

  1. I’m glad if they have made some effort, but these quality “standards” are mostly talk. If you compare BCI spin to Organic & Fair Trade standards you will see what I mean. Not to worry. The average consumer couldn’t care less about environmental or social standards, that’s why Nike is still in business.

    • Vicunha absolutely does what they say – remember, I have been there and saw it all. We can only do our part to help but we can’t force other people to see if they don’t want to see.

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