It's no secret that certain textile dyeing techniques are polluting water sources, using copious amounts of water and harming garment workers health. As sustainable and ethical industry practices progress it's important that you aren't letting anything slip through the cracks and something as simple as textile dyes are being revamped to make a positive impact. Here's how sustainable textile dyes are changing, and why it's important:
90% of garments are dyed synthetically, (Plug and Play) which might not seem like a big deal if you don't know what's actually in these chemical dyes. And the amount of water sources that are being polluted in the countries garments are manufactured is taking a toll on their communities. Over 70% of rivers in China are polluted, and 200 tonnes of water are used per tonne of fabric (Fashion Revolution).
Why are water supplies polluted?
During production, most of the water supply that's used is during the garments dyeing phases. Along with the amount being wasted, the already contaminated water that is being put back into the supply, is untreated, and has a thick residue containing the chemicals used. This also impacts garment workers inside the factories, leaving their skin damaged from burns and causing long term cognitive damage from breathing in the chemicals.
Natural dyeing solutions
There are plenty of eco-friendly dyes that can be used as an alternative during your brands manufacturing process. Natural alternative can be made from plants, seeds, fruits, barks, and sometimes insects. Natural dyeing solutions can be challenging for quality control however, due to their inconsistency in color. Additionally, natural dye solutions can be known for using a lot of water to produce, so although the problem isn't solved entirely, the industry is getting closer to finding creative solutions.
Waterless dyeing solutions
In an effort to reduce water consumption,, one way to counteract water waste has been found in denim production. It's estimated to take 998 gallons of water to make a single pair of denim jeans, so denim gets a lot of blame for fashion's water waste. But the Spanish company, Jeanologia has found a way to use lasers to dye and distress denim while one glass of water or less.
As fashion continues to improve for people and planet, we will keep bringing you new solutions. Join our platform today to connect with ethical factories already doing great work for people and planet.
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