The environmental impacts of production
Products, such as more than a million tricot products, nearly 6 million pairs of tights, and slightly less than 3 million pairs of socks leave an impact on the environment. In order to minimise the environmental impacts, Nanso Group factories have long since been using technology that helps reduce the unnecessary consumption of water, energy, chemicals, colorants, and materials in production.
The most significant environmental impacts of the operations of Nanso Group’s own factories are related to water and energy consumption and the amount of waste produced by the operations. However, we are constantly developing our procedures to be less stressful to the environment.
In the dying processes of the textile industry, water consumption is typically great, since the production of one dyeing batch generally lasts 8 to 10 hours and the water is changed multiple times during the process. In 2013, the dyeing process of Nanso Group’s own production consumed 230 litres of water on average per a kilogram of knitted fabric. Extensive water consumption cannot be avoided, when a company wishes to make products whose colours last without fading after washing. However, Nanso Group’s own factories aim to reduce water consumption by planning the dyeing batches, so that the unnecessary washing of machines between dyeing batches is avoided. In addition, the washing of print knits has, since the 1990s, used a washing machine that can avoid the unnecessary water changes. Because of this machine, the calculated amount of water conserved is approximately 7,000 cubes of water.
Most of the energy in the dyehouse is also used in heating the waters. The Nokia and Tornio factories have their own heating facilities that produce the energy used in production. In Nokia, the energy has been produced with low-emission natural gas since 1990. In 2012–2013, the Tornio factory saw a pilot project on switching the heavy fuel oil into renewable Finnish wood chips.
To minimise waste, the planning of the tricot production has defined how efficiently the produced materials must be used during the product’s cutting stage. Despite this, material than cannot be used in the finished product is unavoidable. To promote waste utilisation, Nanso Group began a collaboration with Dafecor Oy that uses the cutting waste of tricot production to produce oil absorption and insulation mats.