Environmental Impact Of Fabric Clothing Industry

978 Words4 Pages
Environmental Impact of Fabric Dyeing Lisa Segal 8T_K Introduction For as long as humanity has existed there has been three basic needs– food, clothing, and shelter. As a result, it is unsurprisingly that the global textile and clothing industry is massive. Currently, it generates 60 billion kilograms of fabric every year and continues to grow. One reason for this is the world of fast fashion, where time to market is paramount; people just want more and more clothes. Whether this is because of greed or vanity, the sad fact is that this is causing serious harm to the environment. When people choose to buy clothing, the main appeal is colour. To obtain colour, fabrics must be dyed. It is this dyeing process that causes such significant…show more content…
The fabric may then need to be treated with chemicals to improve the quality of the fabric e.g. water proofing and softening. Environmental impacts of dyeing As already noted, natural dyes have to be used with mordants to keep all of the colour on the fabric. Unfortunately, mordants are very toxic and result in poor wastewater quality. Adding to the poor wastewater quality is the fact that while 80% of natural dyes stay on the fabric, while about 20% become waste. More generally, natural dyeing requires large quantities of water. Similarly, synthetic dyeing also uses considerable amounts of water. Together, up to 9 trillion gallons of water are used annually, sometimes leaving little or no water for other uses. For example, dyeing houses in heavily populated countries, India and China are notorious for exhausting local water supplies. Synthetic dyes have a detrimental effect on all forms of life. They have chemicals that produce highly toxic wastewater. Interestingly, when this waste is mixed with some disinfectants, they can form by-products that are even worse e.g.…show more content…
As the name suggests, it uses air in place of water to dye fabrics. This process can produce bright colours and designs, without polluting the water and the environment. It uses 95% less water, emits 84% less greenhouse gases and it requires 87% less energy. Additionally, silk worms can be utilised by adding a chemical dye to their diet. The silk worms then produce cocoons with bright, luminous hues. This process greatly reduces the use of and wastewater pollution. Conclusion The increasing production of textiles and the related increasing use of dyes warrants the world’s immediate attention due to the striking adverse impacts of fabric dyeing on the environment. It is now widely recognised that vast amounts of fresh water are being consumed and vast amounts of wastewater, largely untreatable, are being generated. Fortunately, the problem has been recognised and alternative dyeing processes are beginning to be used such as DryDye, Air Dyeing Technology and Dye fed silk worms. However, there is still much to be done to minimise the effects of fabric dyeing on the

More about Environmental Impact Of Fabric Clothing Industry

Open Document