TS015-Sustainability in Textile Industry

Sustainability in Textile Industry
Suman Bhiradkar
Department of Textile Technology
DKTE Engineering College ,Icchalkaranji, India
All societies face this economic problem. Textile and fashion industry have major impact on environment. Air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat, all are provided by the environment which has been un intentionally jeopardised by human beings. An environmental protection to be obvious, there is a growing need for the textiles with natural material, recycle and reuse. A simple solution is to accept with the rules of sustainable planet. Sustainability means that process can be maintained a certain level. Depletion of natural resources in order to maintain am ecological balance. Sustainability is important to ensure that we have the water, the materials and resources to protection both human health and environment.
Keywords: Sustainability, The textile and fashion industry and sustainability, Sustainable Textiles, Sustainable textile production.

Sustainability- concepts and definition:
Environmental issues are playing an increasingly important role in the textile industry both from the point of view of government regulation. In general, sustainability is focused on 3 different points, economic, social and environment.

What is economic sustainability?
It requires preservation of human capital, physical capital and natural capital. The main feature of sustainable economic development are reduction in pollution, quality of life of future generation should not reduce, efficient use of natural resources.

What is social sustainability?
It should respect social elements of fair trade and human rights of the people involved.

What is Environment sustainability?
It is defines as responsible interaction with the environment to avoid degradation of natural resources and allow for long term environmental quality. Sustainability and health care are related since the quality of our environment affects public health.

Now a days everywhere in the world and in all industries the sustainability exhibited it has to be mentioned that the textile industry is one of the biggest polluters. A number of fashion and design companies are shifting their unsustainability ways also Sustainable development is positive change which does not reduce the environment or social systems on which we depend. Sustainability it is important to ensure that we have and will continue to have the water, materials and resources to protect both human health and our environment.

The Textile and Fashion Industry and Sustainability:
The textile industry is one of the longest and most complex and complicated industrial chains of the manufacturing industry. In recent years ecological issues have become more and more important especially in the textile and apparel industry. Every textile item releases toxic substances that are harmful to the environmental. The textile industry consumes large amounts of natural resources and pollutes the environment because their production and processing involve chemical process. There is need for green textile.

Sustainable textiles:
Sustainable textile mean that all materials and process inputs and output are healthy and safe for human and environmental. Also sustainable textile mean ways of achieving more sustainable materials and technologies as well as improving recycling in the industry. There are developed cleaner and sustainable manufacturing processes in order to overcome the image of so called ‘dirty’ textile industry, polluting Water and environment.Many textile companies are taking the initiative to invest in sustainability to be green. There are many sustainable contributions to be made in the textile industry.
The definition of sustainable textiles involves:
All energy, material and process inputs come from renewable or recycled sources.
In the product life cycle actively support the reuse or recycling of these materials at the highest possible level of quality. 
All materials are able of returning safely to natural systems or industrial systems.

Sustainable Fibres or Eco-fibres and Textile:

Many people considers that a ‘Sustainable fibres’ is an organic fibre or a natural one. They will reject any man-made fibres because that damage environment. But some manmade fibres or synthetic fibres can be more sustainable than natural ones       Improving the sustainability of man-made fibres is the guiding principle to improve ecological, economical and social performance.

Fibres mainly classified in two groups:

Natural fibres: Natural fibres are made by nature. Ex are cotton and wool which are many used in textile clothing.
Man-made fibres: Man-made fibres are fibres made by man. Man made fibres can be organic or inorganic

Natural Fibres:
Natural fibres will play role in the emerging “green” economy based on energy efficiency. Natural fibres are renewable resource. They have been renewed by nature and human. they are 100% biodegradable at the end of their life cycle. Natural fibres really excel in the disposal stage of their life cycle. Natural fibres decay through the action of fungi and bacteria because they absorb water. There are many natural fibres which can be considered as eco-friendly such as organic cotton, organic linen, hemp, jute, ramie, etc.

Man-made fibres
Manmade fibres account for 68% of fibres used worldwide, and 75% of those processed in Europe. The world production was around 53 million tonnes in 2010 and the duction was 3.8 million tonnes. Their principal end use is in clothing, carpes, household textile and a wide range of technical products: tyres, conveyor belts, filings for sleeping bags and cold weather clothing, filter or improving the quality of air and water in the environment, fire resistant materials, reinforcement in composites used for advanced aircraft production, and many more. Fibres are precisely engineered to give the rights combination of qualities required for the end use in question: appearance, handle, strength, durability, stretch, stability, warmth, protection, easy care, breathability, moisture absorption and value for money, for example. In many cases, they are used in blends with natural fibres such as cotton and wool. Man made fibres come in two main forms:
  • Continuous filament, used for weaving, knitting or carpet production
  • Staple, discontinuous lengths of fibre which can be spun into yarn or incorporated in unspun uses such as fillings or nonwovens.

Biodegradable and sustainable fibres:
More and more textile researches, producers and manufactures are looking to biodegradable and sustainable fibres as an effective way of reducing the impact textile have on the environment. The emphasis in biodegradable and sustainable fibres is on textile that are beneficial by their biodegradable and come from sustainable sources.
New and exciting development in fibre technology and their application, exploring fields such as biomimetics, nanotechnology and biodegradability have been reported. Fibres will enter into more novel and unexpected applications as the century progresses.
Natural polymer are both biodegradable and sustainable. But research is still on going to develop new synthetic polymers/fibres derived from renewable sources. For a material to fulfil the ‘cradle to grave’ sustainability requirement, it must be both derived from a renewable source and be degradable.

Sustainable textile production (STeP):
A new tool to help fashion brands and retailers to evaluate and chose the sustainability of their suppliers is the sustainable textile production.

SteP is the new OEKO-TEX certification system for brands, retail companies and manufacturers from the textile chain who want to communicate their achievement regarding sustainable production to the public in a transparent, creatable and clear manner. Certification is possible for production facilities of processing stages from fibre production, spinning mills, weaving mills, knitting mills, to finishing facilities and manufactures of readymade textile items. The aim of step certification is to provide fashion brands, retailers and manufacturers with needed documentation of sustainable production across the international textile supply chain. This will allow an objective assessment of the sustainability of textile factories. This certification could be used to provide consumers with understandable documentation of retailers commitment to sustainability when sourcing its products.

Advantages for brands and retailers:
Step allows globally operating brands and retail companies to search for suitable suppliers world wide who meet their demands regarding environmental protection and social responsibility. These enables them to clearly and completely document their joint sustainable commitment to end consumers together with the supply chain.

Advantages for production facilities
Textile and clothing manufactures can make their production process much more efficient on the basis of STeP certification. The system helps them to determine the companies positioning with regard sustainability and shows areas for improvement. The independent proof of sustainable production conditions also provides an image boost allowing the companies to open up new markets and suppliers relations.

  • Measurement and control of these inputs and outputs can lead to
  • Improved resource productivity
  • Improved co efficiency.
  • Improved cost efficiency.
  • Improved customer satisfaction
  • Improved brand reputation.
  • Improved environmental conditions.
  • Better health conditions of the wears and the workers.

  • Sustainability textiles “Gheorghe Asachi” Technical University of Iasi, Faculty of Textile -Leather and Industrial management.
  • Sustainability: increasing impact on textile 

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