Sustainability of textiles

Posted by on apr 4, 2010 in Sustainability Mission | 1 comment

Sustainability of textiles

Sustainability of textiles refers to any method utilised to attempt to make the production of that textile more environmentally friendly. Textiles refer to any product that is made from fabric, and there are several stages involved in making fabric, and therefore there are many ways in which each stage can be altered to make the production of that textile more enviroinmentally friendly.

I will use a simplified example of a cotton T shirt -

The first stage is the growth of the cotton plant. When growing it you could consider minimalising the use of pesticides (not only for the o zone layer, but also for the well being of the people tending the cotton plants), reducing the amount of water consumption (preserving the earths resources) and perhaps reducing the amout of tended land used to grow the cotton on.

In terms of manufacturing the actual fabric, you could consider the wellbeing of the often exploited people that work in cotton mills, consider the coatings used to protect the fabric and their toxicity, and you could also consdier perhaps making the fabric so it could be washed on a lower temperature wash when it is eventually bought and used (again to conserve resouces)

In terms of the design of the T shirt and shipping – considering the wellbeing of those that work in sweatshops, consider how much unneccassary packaging is used, and the enviromentally friendly methods of transporting the product around the globe, how the T shirt is sold in shops and also the use of it once the consumer buys it – how to stop that T shirt ending up on a landfill (i.e the idea of ‘design longevity’)

This is a really simplified example, and there are many many more arguments than this-

From considering the well being of people creating the textiles, to the environemtnal impacts of the chemicals used to create and transport it, to the end result of when the consumer throws it away. Often though, you cant make a textile 100% sustainable, its very difficult to balance it -

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One Response to “Sustainability of textiles”

  1. i am flainox dyeing manegar & m/c technician from india presantly working flying fashions gurgoan

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