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Textile chemical & machinery firms strive to save water
Oct '12
The textile industry is considered the biggest consumer of water among all industrial sectors and also one of the worst polluters. Among the various processing sectors of the textile industry, the dyeing and printing sector is the largest consumer of water and also the highest polluter.

It is estimated that in order to produce colored cotton t-shirts using reactive dyes and weighing about one kilogram in all, consumes water totaling to a staggering 2,000 litres right from farming to the final garment, which clearly reveals that cotton textile processing is a drain on the environment in terms of water, energy and pollution.

A recent report by the Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs (IPE) found that apparel brands which swear on maintaining sustainable standards, keep a check only at the last stage of manufacturing of the textile value production chain – the apparel stitching stage, while they turn a blind eye to the pollution created and water consumed by the fabric dyeing and printing sector.

In the wake of a rise in awareness amongst consumers in choosing sustainable textiles and garments, many textile machinery and dyes and chemical producers’ like Clariant, Huntsman, Fongs, Dystar, Wacker etc, are rising to the occasion and introducing new technologies which can help curb water usage as well as control pollution during the dyeing and printing process.    

Clariant, the Switzerland based textile dyes and chemicals major is one of those companies which is in the forefront of introducing new technologies to reduce water consumption and recently launched a new sustainability service: ‘One Way’.

Based on stringent standards and a systematic approach with a unique set of sophisticated tools, ‘One Way’, will allow customers to make an informed decision by delivering the overall cost and performance profile – including dyes, chemicals, water, energy and time – and the impact of each textile solution against key ecological performance indicators, such as COD, BOD, CO2 emissions, energy and water.

Clariant also recently introduced ‘Advanced Denim’ - a technology that simplifies the finishing and dyeing of denim, which when employed, Denim-Ox and Pad/Sizing Ox, water consumption can be reduced by as much as 92%, while 63% of the usual cotton waste is avoided and around 30% can be saved in energy costs too compared to conventional denim indigo denim dyeing process.

According to Clariant, if the technology was to be adopted in the production of 25 percent of jeans worldwide, it would save 62 million m3 of water/year, the equivalent of the water consumption of 1.7 million people.

Dyeing and printing textile machine producer and Hong Kong based – Fongs Industries Co Ltd too has developed a new technology which works on the principle of ensuring a low liquor ratio (LR) to reduce water consumption.

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