The textile industry has
been condemned as being one of the world's worst offenders in terms of
pollution. Traditionally produced fabrics contain residuals of chemicals used
during their Manufacture - chemicals that evaporate into the air we breathe or
are absorbed through our skin. Some of the chemicals are carcinogenic or may
cause harm to children even before birth while others may trigger allergic
reactions in some people. Cotton is the second-most damaging agricultural crop
in the world; 25 percent of all Pesticides used globally are put on cotton
crops. Majority of the cotton is irrigated and the combination of chemical
application (through pesticides and fertilizers) with irrigation is a direct
conduit for toxic chemicals to circulate in groundwater worldwide. There are
two main types of fibers used to make materials - natural and synthetic.
Natural fibers include:
And a variety of other
plant or animal based fibers.
Synthetic fibers are
materials created from petrochemicals such as:
And variety of other
chemically produced fabrics. Natural Fibers because of their origin are bio
degradable and harmless to the environment, on the condition they are processed
without the use of chemicals. Organic Farming is a costly affair as it involves
more care and no use of artificial means to cultivate the crops, the produce
too is low as compared to commercial farming, and hence organically grown
fibers are expensive.
The Textile Industry
involves lot of processes right from the cultivation of the fibers to the final
stage of fabric. The Spinning, Weaving and the Processing industry churns out
lot of harmful wastes hampering our environment.
A few examples for you:
All the vegetable fibers are
cultivated with the help of pesticides and fertilizers to give a high yield, especially
These fertilizers and pesticides
are harmful to our environment in the long run
Man made fibres though are
advantageous to natural fibres are not suitable in our climatic conditions for
the wearer and also the process involved in making these fibres is more
pollution generating one.
Water is very precious and less
than 1% of water found on our planet can be used for human consumption, all the
textile processing units need lots of water.
All the processing and Dyeing Units
need to have an ETP (Effluent Treatment Plant) to avoid polluting the water
table and the soil of our planet.