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SUSTAINABILITY IN THE TEXTILE INDUSTRY

Published: September 9, 2022
Author: DIGITAL MEDIA EXECUTIVE

In terms of economic activity, the textile industry is the second-largest sector of the global trade market, with the market expected to reach USD 1,230 billion by 2024, up from USD 920 billion in 2018. Through its activities, sustainable fashion aims to foster flourishing ecosystems and communities. This may involve raising the worth of local producing goods, extending the lifecycle of materials, boosting the value of timeless clothes, minimizing waste, and lowering the environmental impact caused by production and consumption. Another of its goals is to educate people about ecologically responsible consumption by supporting the “green consumer.”The notion of sustainable growth in the textile and clothing sector can be interpreted in a variety of ways. However, its basic meaning is prosperity that meets current requirements without compromising environmental norms, so that future generations can live in a sustainable manner. The repercussions will be more severe as long as unsustainable techniques are used in the textile and garment industries. As a result, it is critical to design ways that would result in a sustainable environment and way of life.

Characteristics of Sustainability in the Fashion & Textile industry

To begin, sustainability in the textile and clothing business extends beyond the use of organic materials and efficient procedures. The textile industry uses a lot of water and energy, as well as a lot of chemicals and toxic substances. The majority of textile enterprises emit a large amount of hazardous waste, endangering natural bodies. There is an urgent need to use innovative production methods that do not harm the environment and to use natural resources to help us not just sustain the textile industry but the entire eco-system.

To begin, sustainability in the textile and clothing industry goes beyond using organic ingredients and efficient techniques. The textile business consumes a significant amount of water and energy, as well as numerous chemicals and harmful substances. The majority of textile businesses generate a considerable amount of toxic waste, putting natural bodies at risk. There is an urgent need to adopt environmentally friendly production processes and natural resources to enable us not just preserve the textile sector but the entire eco-system.

Members of the United Nations adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in 2015, which included 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) for various businesses. Combating Climate change, Gender Equality, Sustainable Production & Consumption, Safe Drinking water & Sanitation, and Decent Work & Economic Progress are five of the 17 issues addressed by the textile industry. Several internationally recognized standardizations and independent accreditations were established, which provided a yardstick for gauging a company’s sustainability. Textile firms all over the world are actively working to reduce pollution and set emission targets to combat climate change.

If the textile industry wishes to make conscious growth without any further hurting nature, it should employ carbon-reducing manufacturing techniques, invest in R&D for using sustainable raw materials, and manufacture environmentally friendly finished products. Many international apparel businesses are now spearheading the Sustainability Mission because they are best positioned to influence customer opinion while also connecting it to manufacturing and sourcing processes.

Sustainable Fashion characteristics align with “slow fashion” ideals in that emotional, ecological, and ethical elements are prioritized over uniform and bland efficiency. Slow fashion confronts growth fashion’s fixation with mass-production and worldwide style and emerges as a defender of diversity. It alters the power dynamics between fashion designers and consumers, fostering new relationships and trust that can only be feasible on a smaller scale. It promotes a greater understanding of the design process and its effects on resource flows, workers, neighbourhoods. and ecosystems. Slow fashion frequently comprises of long-lasting products, traditional manufacturing practices, or design concepts that aim to be seasonless or last for longer periods of time aesthetically and materially.

To attain sustainable principles without jeopardizing competitiveness, new product creation, quality enhancement, improved productivity, cost control, and gradually embracing green and eco-friendly efforts are recommended. All of the industry’s competitive characteristics will contribute to the adoption of the relevant sustainable principles.

Challenges to overcome

  • To transition from a low-cost RMG producer to a producer of value-added goods.
  • Invest in independent research and development to improve industry-institute relationships.
  • Increase the industries’ inventive capacity.
  • Emphasize the development of the industry’s technological fundamentals – seeking for more sustainable technology solutions.
  • The most difficult task is to achieve sustainability without having to lose market competitiveness.

Future

Today, the textile and fashion industries recognise the critical need to transform the way clothes are created. Cotton and polyester fibres currently have a considerable market domination. Together, they account for 80% of total global apparel output. Innovative substitutes to these fibres, on the other hand, have been developed as part of a sustainable future. These fibres use fewer resources and are less expensive. As a result, by selecting materials and clothing wisely, one can significantly limit the negative affects on the environment, animals, and humans. Additionally, reducing electricity, water, and chemical consumption, as well as minimising inefficient operations, will have a good influence.

Current textile and fashion industry advances ensure a bright future for sustainable fashion. The fate of fashion and the textile industry depends on a holistic approach in which sustainability must be the primary focus. It will safeguard the environment and create a better standard of living for employees, customers, and suppliers in all sectors of the global fashion and textile business, which requires continual development to achieve long-term sustainability.

Reference:

https://www.fibre2fashion.com/industry-article/7269/sustainability-the-future-of-fashion

https://www.sutlejtextiles.com/blogs/blog-post.php?id=D35

https://www.textileworld.com/textile-world/features/2022/02/significance-of-sustainability-in-textiles/

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