Home / Knowledge / News / Textiles / Two textile factories pay high environmental toll for export economy
Two textile factories pay high environmental toll for export economy
02
Dec '10
Greenpeace investigations have found widespread pollution, including high concentrations of heavy metals, in Xintang and Gurao, two textile factory towns in Guangdong province that make blue jeans and bras, respectively. Greenpeace calls upon the local government to launch an investigation into the sources of pollution and punish all responsible industrial culprits. It also calls upon the textile industry – the dominant industry of both towns – to review and clean up its manufacturing processes, starting with reducing and eliminating the use and release of priority hazardous chemicals during production.

Xintang is better known as the “Blue Jeans Capital of the World” – over 40% of its jeans are exported to the US, the EU, Russia and many other countries. It produces 260 million pairs of jeans annually, or more than 60% of China's total jeans production and equivalent to 40% of all the jeans sold in the US each year. Meanwhile, 80% of Gurao's economy is related to the underwear and lingerie industry. Each year, the “Capital of Sexy” produces 200 million bras, enough for one for every third woman in China.
“Xintang and Gurao are symbols of success in China's export-model economy, yet we were horrified by the environmental degradation we saw during our fieldwork visits from April to September,” said Greenpeace Toxics campaigner Mariah Zhao. “Though we cannot pinpoint the pollution sources definitively at this stage, it's worth noting that textile is the dominant industry in both towns by a long run.”

Testing by an independent laboratory revealed heavy metals such as copper, cadmium, and lead in 17 out of 21 samples of water and sediment from Xintang and Gurao. One sediment sample from Xintang contained cadmium at concentrations 128 times in excess of national environmental standards. “Dyeing, washing, bleaching, and printing are some of the dirtiest processes in the textile industry, requiring high volumes of water as well as heavy metals and other chemicals,” explained Zhao. “And Xintang is home to the complete blue jean manufacturing process, including dyeing, bleaching, and washing.”

Workers in the industry also testified to Greenpeace. “The water is discharged from the dyeing factories upstream. Sometimes it smells really awful. And every time the color of the water is different,” said Ren Shan (pseudonym), a migrant worker who moved to Gurao for a job in a textile factory.

“With China nicknamed 'the Factory of the World,' it's important to remember that Xintang and Gurao are emblematic of the larger problem of dirty textile manufacturing – they are just two of 133 textile industrial clusters in the country,” Zhao pointed out. “The responsibility of wastewater regulation and phasing out hazardous chemicals in textile manufacturing must be faced by not only Xintang and Gurao's industries and government, but also throughout China.”

“Jeans and bras are synonymous with a modern, sexy lifestyle, yet we need to think about what these fashion icons mean for our environment. With many people demanding new jeans and clothing every year, it is imperative that the textile industry implements clean production methods, starting by phasing out the use and release of hazardous chemicals. At the same time, the government must adopt and enforce strict hazardous chemical management policies,” said Zhao. “We also hope that consumers will join us in pushing for change from the government and their favorite clothing companies. It would be tragic if fashion and economics comes at the cost of China's clean water resources.”

Greenpeace is a non-profit organisation, with a presence in 40 countries across Europe, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific. To maintain its independence, Greenpeace does not accept donations from governments or corporations but relies on contributions from individual supporters and foundation grants.

Greenpeace


Must ReadView All

Courtesy: American Silk Mills

Textiles | On 18th Oct 2017

Sutlej Textiles adds American Silk Mills to its portfolio

Sutlej Textiles and Industries Ltd (STIL) has announced the...

Arvind Limited executive directors Punit Lalbhai (left) and Kulin Lalbhai explaining the project to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani. Courtesy: Arvind Ltd

Apparel/Garments | On 18th Oct 2017

Arvind to set up mega apparel facility in Gujarat

Arvind Limited, one of India’s largest textile to retail...

Cotton stocks accumulating everywhere outside of China

Textiles | On 18th Oct 2017

Cotton stocks accumulating everywhere outside of China

Global cotton stocks outside of China are expected to rise by nearly...

Interviews View All

Amardeep Singh
Orient Craft

'In export markets, the trend in terms of embroidery, is towards matte...

Veronique Lee
Modavanti

‘Sustainable fashion is trending upwards, slowly but surely, as people...

Headhonchos
Indian textile value chain

Adopt innovative techniques, go for automisation rather than being...

C Dhandayuthapani

MAG Solvics Private Limited was established in 1991 to design and develop...

Harmeet Singh

New Delhi-based Jogindra Industries Private Limited provides an assortment ...

Vikas Banduke

Softech Controls Private Limited (SCPL) is a part of the Cotmac Group, an...

Eric Scholler
Groz-Beckert

The Indian market has huge potential in technical textiles, and by far,...

Marcel Alberts
Eurofibers

Coating at a fibre level is a practice not usually seen in the...

Iago Castro Asensio
RCfil Distribuciones S.L.

Iago Castro Asensio, International Business Manager of RCfil...

Ritu Kumar
Label Ritu Kumar

‘Classics will return’ "There are a lot of people wearing western clothes ...

Pranav Mishra
Huemn

Designers Pranav Mishra and Shyma Shetty’s Huemn is known for its...

Silvia Venturini Fendi
Fendi s.r.l

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

Press Release

Press Release

Letter to Editor

Letter to Editor

RSS Feed

RSS Feed

Submit your press release on


editorial@fibre2fashion.com

Letter To Editor






(Max. 8000 char.)

Search Companies





SEARCH

October 2017

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

news category


Related Categories:

Planning to Take the Leap towards
Sustainability?

Do you see sustainability as a route to business growth?

Yes No

Do you think the sustainability space has the needed tools and resources available for a business to lead change?

Yes No

Active Poll

Do you see sustainability as a route to business growth?

Yes
77.6%
No
13.4%
Skip
9.0%

Total Votes: 67

Do you think adopting a sustainable approach will be a profitable move for your business?

Yes No

Active Poll

Do you think the sustainability space has the needed tools and resources available for a business to lead change?

Yes
61.2%
No
28.4%
Skip
10.4%

Total Votes: 67

Do you want the world to know about your sustainability journey and your business’ environmental footprint?

Yes No

Active Poll

Do you think adopting a sustainable approach will be a profitable move for your business?

Yes
85.1%
No
10.4%
Skip
4.5%

Total Votes: 67

Thanks for your valuable feedback. Claim your free latest sustainability e-book.

Active Poll

Do you want the world to know about your sustainability journey and your business’ environmental footprint?

Yes
74.6%
No
11.9%
Skip
13.4%

Total Votes: 67


E-News Insight
Subscribe Today and Get the
Latest News Update in Your Mail Box.
Advanced Search