The textile industry is a major polluter of the environment. This isn’t new and we’ve posted about it before, see that article HERE. Retaildive.com recently posted an article about the dangers of Denim, how it’s made and how it will need to change in order to save the planet. Denim is actually one of the largest contributors to the negative environmental impact that the textile industry has. Below are a couple excerpts from the RetailDive.com article titled “True blue: Denim has to change to save the planet”
Traditionally, it takes a lot of water to make denim, however, starting with growing cotton, then processing it at mills and beyond. Some 1,500 gallons are needed to cultivate the pound and a half of cotton for one pair of jeans, according to the Textile Institute’s “Sustainability in Denim.” More yet is used in dyeing, rinsing and finishing, and, throughout, chemicals like pesticides, bleaching agents, enzymes and dyes are introduced and can leach into nearby water supplies.
Adding to the challenges is the current vogue for jeans that stretch and are pre-faded and -distressed, according to Tricia Carey, Lenzing director of global business development, denim. “Fabrications for skinny jeans need a synthetic fiber component to achieve stretch,” she told Retail Dive in an email. “The synthetic fiber is not compostable or biodegradable. Traditional laundry methods on jeans with extensive wash treatments and destruction require more chemicals, water, and labor.”
These two short paragraphs give a quick feel for the article. But it’s not all doom and gloom. Several organizations and fashion companies are taking steps or at least putting programs in place to move in the right direction of increased sustainability. Hopefully these and other organizations will continue to bring sustainability programs online and increase their impact!