Water is life and it’s a main driving force for all living creatures of our planet. As per Slovakian proverb, “Pure water is the world’s first and foremost medicine”. We as human beings are the solely responsible for the pollution of this precious natural resource. Scientists are continuously discovering the reasons of water pollution. And as per their findings, one of the main reason of water pollution is our industries and especially the textile and clothing industry. No doubt the textile and clothing sector is catering the basic needs of the human beings. But on the other hand, it is also the main cause of water pollution and shortage.
As most of the industrial processing operations are totally depend upon water. The world’s environment organizations are really concerned about environment as well as water pollution issue. Now, they are working together to find out the ways for pollution free world.
Water Pollution in Textile & Clothing:
As mentioned earlier the textile and clothing industry is major entity of water consumption and pollution. The whole fabric making (De-sizing, Scouring, Bleaching and Mercerizing) and garment manufacturing (denim/non-woven laundry) process requires the plenty of water. And the water discharge from fabric and garment making process has full of hazardous chemical and metals.
Although there are ways to treat the water for reusable yet the treatment solution is a bit costly. And most of the small and medium mills avoid to install such pricey treatment plant into their production facility. So, when the untreated water of the mills dilutes into our rivers and lakes then it causes the sever health and environment issues.
Fashion Industry Trends:
The other studies show that the “micro-plastic” is a major component of synthetic clothing which is polluting our water. And it is worse than already banned plastic “microbeads” from cosmetics. And one more recent studies proves “microfibers” from synthetic clothing pollute water even worse than “micro-plastics”.
As per the recent research study of International Union for Conservation of Nature, the micro plastics contribute up to 31% in ocean’s annual pollution. And almost two third of this pollution derive from synthetic textile and car’s tyres. And other than industrial processing; these micro-plastics also enter into the water in everyday home wash and driving. As per study, a new fleece jacket release 1.7 grams of microfibers on each home wash. And polluting content quantity would be double in case of old jacket. This polluted water with microfibers (which is more harmful than micro plastics) directly affect the sea world. These microfibers absorb chemicals and penetrate into animal tissues in a high quantity.
The pollution rate of micro-plastic and microfibers varies country to country. As per recent research on fishes of Indonesia and America, the Indonesian fish was more contaminated with plastic whereas the American fish was infected with microfibers. In few countries car’s tyres causes the main pollution of micro plastics. Whereas, in other continents, synthetic textile is the main reason of micro-plastic pollution.
Water Saving Measures:
Keeping in view the present scenario, we should be more careful about the main causes of microfibers and micro-plastics pollution. And for this, we should make such clothes which uses high quality of natural fibers. We should change our washing instruments by adding washing bag and filters so that it can stop the debris and other fabric fibers.
For industrial processing, the Control Union (CU) issued new standard named Global Recycle Standard (GRS) for wastewater and chemicals. As per the standards, the wastewater treatment and chemical (sustainable chemical) usage should be in accordance with GOTS and Oekotex 100 standards. The certification and installation cost of water treatment plant is high so small business normally owners avoid to do this. So, here the Govt. should take some productive measures and combine the industrial units at one place. In this way, they can share the combine water treatment plant and other mutual benefits for cost savings. Furthermore, the Govt. should take measures to promote the “World Water Day” (22nd March) theme (“Why Waste Water”). So, that everyone should know the importance of this valuable natural resource.