The textile industry goes green
Sustainability is essential for the healthy growth of society and the preservation of the planet. The textile industry has seen an increase in demand for sustainable products. Sustainability in the textile industry goes beyond the use of organic cotton or better working conditions, companies have many reasons to emphasize sustainability, including reducing costs, protecting the environment and the continued goodwill of their customers for environmentally friendly practices. In response to this, many textile companies have undertaken different initiatives.
Among various concerns, the two main challenges in the textile industry are the complex networks of the supply chain and the involvement of various players dealing with a wide range of raw materials and methods. Implementing sustainability on an industrial scale would require the involvement of all actors in the supply chain, as well as a well-organized traceability system to monitor and analyze various elements of sustainability. In addition, traceability is an integral part of the recycling process which tends towards sustainability.
From a sustainable point of view, the textile industry is a highly criticized sector. The textile chain consumes a lot of water and energy, as well as the use of various chemicals and harmful substances. Most of the textile industries discharge a huge amount of harmful waste which poses a threat to natural organisms i.e. it is one of the most polluting, resource consuming and environmentally friendly industries. labor intensive. Due to the involvement of many stakeholders, including different suppliers, fiber producers, yarn manufacturers, etc., it becomes difficult to act in the best interest of the planet. The chemical compounds used in industry further complicate matters, because if not used correctly, they are washed away with the effluents. The non-biodegradable and carcinogenic components of these chemicals directly contaminate nearby water resources and severely affect the locality. Moreover, the latest fast fashion trend has not only shortened the life cycle of fashion, but made things even more complicated for the environment.
Manufacturers are making conscious efforts to introduce sustainability into fashion – this ranges from using innovative materials, to less dependence on electricity, water, etc. and focusing on reduce, reuse and recycle.
Some companies are implementing sustainability and circularity in all areas of their value chain, raw material sourcing, production, supply chain and waste recycling. To move from linear to circular operations, they focus on pre- and post-consumer waste. They are committed to recycling plastic for packaging by replacing virgin polyester with recycled LDPE. The Indian fashion industry is trying to use natural sources and modern bio-technological methods to evolve sustainable materials for the style industry and drastically reduce polluting waste. Additionally, manufacturers are now implementing ZLD (Zero Liquid Discharge), an advanced wastewater treatment process that eliminates all liquid discharge from a system. The textile industry has also introduced ETP plants designed to reduce the problems associated with waste water in the industry. Consumers love the vibe of eco fashion and they become their favorites. Additionally, environmentalists and social workers have raised awareness of the harmful scars on the environment caused by the fashion industry and with education, our consumers are also becoming more responsible.
If the textile industry is to make conscious progress without further harming nature, companies must implement manufacturing practices that reduce the carbon footprint, invest in research and development to use sustainable raw materials and produce environmentally friendly finished products. Many big brands lead the sustainability mission because they are in the best position to push customer evaluation and also connect it to creation and repeats. Additionally, the sector should also focus on the three Es – Equity, Environment and Economy. They are dedicated to protecting and promoting the natural environment by returning more to nature than it takes from nature. The industry is moving towards eco-friendly textiles where waste is turned into fiber (such as using PET bottles to make recycled polyester fiber, they are a good substitute for polyester), with this method, the loss of essential resources is minimized.
Thanks to such initiatives, the textile industry will soon become a sustainable industry that can compete effectively in the global market while contributing to environmental protection.
The opinions expressed above are those of the author.
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