Texprocess to promote latest international technological innovations
The question of ethical business is not a new one to the clothing industry and if something does not appear right to the western clothing consumer they will shout about it, media will dishonour the company in question, and brands can be ruined. Sweat shops, child labour, poor wages, forced overtime are all issues which are now addressed by nearly every exporter.
Now we have further challenges for the industry. Corporate social responsibility, eco-friendliness, sustainability, traceability of hazardous substances are all now required, and all throughout an elongated and complex global supply chain.
From the issue of forced child labour in the cotton fields of Uzbekistan, to the amount of water involved in dyeing tee shirts with different compositions of cotton, noxious chemicals used in the finishing processes, methane emitting sheep destroying the ozone layer, forced overtime in Chinese clothing factories. Every aspect of the supply chain has ramifications as to the acceptability of a garment. Texprocess from 24 to 27 May 2011 in Frankfurt am Main shows new systems and technologies helping to realize more sustainablitity in the textile and clothing industry.
Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the ever increasing demands on resources, caused by human overpopulation, the impact of contemporary western lifestyles, expanding industrialisation, the huge disparity between rich and poor, and other issues which are bringing widespread degradation and destruction of the natural environment on which all life ultimately depends.
This concern is affecting all aspects of life, including the purchasing decisions of the end customers. They want to know that the garment they are buying, and the way it has been produced, is sustainable, i.e., it meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs; it embraces the main interdependent and indivisible areas of environmental protection, economic and social development.
The textile and clothing industry is a diverse one, as much in the raw materials it uses as the techniques it employs. At each of the six stages typically required to make a garment, the negative impacts on the environment are as numerous as they are varied. Spinning, weaving and fabric manufacture undermine air quality, use much electricity, and create noise.
Dyeing and printing consume vast amounts of water and chemicals, and may release numerous volatile agents into the atmosphere and water that are particularly harmful to our health. Garment making tends to be carried out in low cost labour countries where labour ethics may still be questionable and certainly require monitoring.
A focus on textile sustainability enables the entire value chain to find cost savings and production efficiencies and pass those savings on to customers while reducing the impact of textile production on people and the environment.