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Pollution control is a necessity for textile sustainability & profitability
May '11
Pollution control is a major issue in the textile industry. Among the many factors contributing to the recent woes in the Indian textile sector, dye and processing house closures due to environmental problems in Tripur area has been a major influencing factor.

Dr. Gilbert O' Neal, President and CEO of USA based Institute of Textile Technology in addressing the Concept-2-Consumer group at the Spring 2011 of the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists in Research Triangle Park, USA on May 25th emphasized the use of waste water treatment and waste reduction methods towards the economic and green sustainability of the textile industry.

According to Dr. O' Neal important drivers for effective sustainability cost reductions, regulatory compliance, consumer demand and corporate motivation. A few cents per yard in added costs can be a make or break for a company said O' Neal. Therefore, cost is the bottom line for companies when they think about sustainability.

Typically, waste water treatment adds 2-4 cents/yard. Simple measures in processing houses such as water metering in washing, low salt dyeing, salt recovery are the low hanging fruits, which the industry should adopt to reduce the cost and minimize waste, emphasized O'Neal.

In a competitive economy, sourcing requirements by world's leading retailers will push companies towards sustainability and lowering the costs. This is the reason textile industry has moved away from the U.S. to China and India, said O'Neal.

Costs of sustainable practices and labor have pushed the textile industry to China and India Nowadays, with the high cost pressures, the industry is moving away from China to Vietnam, Bangladesh and Cambodia where the labor is cheaper than China and India. It may even to go Africa provided the political situation is right, said Mr. Leonard Farias, a textile chemist with the USA based Cotton Incorporated.

Seshadri Ramkumar, Texas Tech University, USA

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