Source- Textile (Accessed 8 July 2021)
The Ecological Outcomes Verification (EOV) is a soil and land evaluation tool that traces the outcomes related to biodiversity, soil health and ecosystem. EOV is a verification tool that does not evaluate the processes, but the outcomes. It applies to natural and cultivated grassland, like those which are mixed with cultivated areas and forests (Savory, 2019). In this case, how is it related to the textile and fashion industry? Part of the raw material used to create those products comes from vegetal fibres, such as cotton and flax, or animal fibres, such as shepherd and alpaca wool. Consequently, any raw material supplier is generating an environmental impact on its farm. Therefore, this is having an important impact on the soil, and it is where the EOV goes into action.
To reduce and mitigate this impact we should consider regenerative agriculture that consists of going far beyond mere sustainability to also put back and fortify the plants, the soil and the nature surrounding it (Farr, 2020). In other words, it is not just about applying environmental management programs to control the potential contamination and to use efficient resources, but taking into account that ecological recovery also has an essential role in this type of agriculture. Thus, at this point, it is important to know the concept of “Biomimetics” related to the understanding of the operating logic of life science at its different levels to rebuild the human systems so that they can fit with natural ones (Riechmann, 2003). Regenerative agriculture is essentially about that: using Nature's Wisdom accumulated for millions of years to restore the ecosystem without needing to stop the raw material production.
EOV consists of measuring parameters that allow it to identify if sustainable and regenerative agricultural practices are having a successful impact on the health and quality of the soil. Then, we apply a standard evaluation tool for farms used all over the world. Now the consumers can be sure that all the products they bought in the fashion market come from responsible productions.
Strategies such as intercropping and agroforestry, for example, can significantly improve EOV ratings on a farm or in a ranch. Agroforestry integrates trees in an agricultural landscape, providing foods, fibres, fodder crops, wood, fuel and also accumulating biomass. Agricultural systems are getting close to a sustainable farming paradigm that conserves the land, the water and the plant and animal genetics resources (Oliveira et al., 2019). When we realize a transition to an agroforestry system in which cotton create a symbiosis with food cultivation and with indigenous trees, it could have a positive impact on the water infiltration, carbon content, biodiversity and soil health, in a hypothetical situation of intensive cotton cultivation oriented to the production of textiles. In this case, the cotton farm should be rated positively when the EOV is applied. Then, it will be classified as a regenerative agricultural system and should be part of the biomimetics economy.
Farra, E. (2021). Regenerative agriculture can change the fashion industry - and the world. But what is it? Retrieved from: https://www.vogue.com/article/regenerative-agriculture-sustainable-fashion-christy-dawn-fibershed
Oliveira, L., Kohan, L., Pinheiro, L., Fonseca, H., & Baruque, J. (2019). Textile natural fibres production regarding the agroforestry approach. Springer Nature Applied Sciences, 1(914). Doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/s42452-019-0937-y
Riechmann, J. (2003). Biomímesis. El Ecologista, 28. Doi: https://www.academia.edu/8433767/biomimesis
Savory. (2020). Chapter 1-EOV. Ecological outcome verification. Retrieved from: https://savory.global/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/CHAPTER_1_-_SUMMARY-1.pdf