Home / Knowledge / News / Textiles / Pollution blind spot in Chinese garment sector
Pollution blind spot in Chinese garment sector
Oct '12
On October 8th 2012, five environmental NGOs, Friends of Nature, The Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs (IPE), Green Beagle, Envirofriends and Nanjing Green Stone have jointly released, in Beijing, the Phase II Cleaning up the Fashion Industry Report.

The report highlights serious deficiencies in the environmental management of supply chains in China by a number of large scale apparel brands and it calls on consumers in China, and abroad, to use their voice to push brands to live up to their environmental responsibilities.

In recent years, we have started to see more reports of large scale international brands and retailers moving orders away from China. More and more items of clothing in U.S. and European shopping malls have labels showing that they have been made in countries in Southeast Asia, South Asia and even Africa.

However, when we looked in detail into this problem we found that the decrease in share of textile exports was mainly concentrated in the garment processing sector. In the raw material processing sectors like dyeing and finishing, China still held the major position globally and exports are still rising steadily.

Because China still has many advantages in fabric manufacturing over other textile exporting countries we predict that in the future China will remain the textile material processing and manufacturing factory to the world.

Merely looking at this from an economic perspective China can be seen to have had both losses and gains in this new round of global distribution of labor. However, from the environmental and social perspective, the re-distribution of industries across countries is more worrying. China is losing the labor intensive garment manufacturing cut and sew sector of the textile industry.

This sector was able to provide a large amount of jobs, and what’s more, water consumption, energy consumption and pollution discharge were all minimal. The sector of the textile industry that China has retained is the resource intensive dyeing and finishing sector. This sector is not able to provide large amounts of jobs and water consumption, energy consumption and pollution discharge are all very large.

China’s current air and water pollution problems are extremely serious, and so to alleviate the harmful effect that this new spread of industrial developments could have on China’s environment, the discharge of pollution needs to be strictly controlled.

However, enforcement is not strict and the cost of resources like water is also very low. This means that dyeing and finishing companies commonly skip implementing water or energy savings, make no effort to reduce pollutant discharge and fail to even consistently abide by environmental laws and regulations.

The reduction of pollution discharge from the textile industry has become a focus for society. The central and local governments, as well as the general public and textile industry associations are all working hard to strengthen environmental management and push textile companies to reduce energy consumption and pollution discharge. A large number of apparel brands and retailers have also come out with their own sustainable procurement policies.

Must ReadView All

Textiles | On 25th Oct 2016

Arvind to dilute 10% stake in brand business arm

Arvind Limited, one of India’s largest integrated textile and apparel ...

Courtesy: Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Textiles | On 25th Oct 2016

World’s first cotton shipment using Skuchain’s Brackets

The world’s first trade transaction involving shipment of cotton...

Textiles | On 25th Oct 2016

Cotton yield to increase to 568.29 kg/ha in 2016-17: CAB

At its first meeting for the cotton season 2016-17, the Cotton...

Interviews View All

Siddharth Biyani
Mangalam Industries Pvt Ltd

‘The manufacturing sector is improving day-by-day, becoming better in...

Claudia Kersten
Global Organic Textile Standard

‘GOTS is a very efficient supply chain management tool, especially for...

Kamlesh Vaghela
RK Textiles

Very few machinery manufacturers have R&D units

Larry L Kinn
Suominen Corporation

Larry L Kinn, Senior Vice President - Operations Americas of Suominen...

Kerem Durdag
Biovation II LLC

Kerem Durdag, CEO, Biovation II LLC, provides an insight into future...

Giorgio Mantovani
Corman S.p.A

Giorgio Mantovani, MD of Corman, with a presence in both Milano and New...

Robert Brunner

Golfwear and menswear brand Devereux is set for greener pastures. Robert...

Silvia Venturini Fendi
Fendi s.r.l

"Yes, my confidence and positive attitude are my strengths and should be...

Sonam & Paras Modi

Sonam and Paras Modi's Sva Couture is synonymous with head-turning...

Press Release

Press Release

Letter to Editor

Letter to Editor

RSS Feed

RSS Feed

Submit your press release on


Letter To Editor

(Max. 8000 char.)

Search Companies

October 2016

October 2016

Subscribe today and get the latest update on Textiles, Fashion, Apparel and so on.


Browse Our Archives


Advanced Search