Magazine Ecotextile News recently celebrated its tenth anniversary. As a special edition, the publication interviewed 50 textile industry executives. The goal of these interviews was to identify the biggest challenges facing the organizations, and the industry as a whole.
The interviews were wide in scope. Representatives from non governmental organizations, chemical suppliers and apparel manufacturers were interviewed. The companies interviewed were headquartered in the United States, Denmark, Germany and many other countries.
Among the companies interviewed were Puma, Adidas, The Sustainable Apparel Coalition and the China National Textile and Apparel Council.
The most widely mentioned concern cited by these industry leaders was water scarcity. Melissa Fifield, the senior director of sustainable innovation for Gap Inc said, “We believe water is a human right, and are taking steps to address our impact while also ensuring safe access to clean water for communities touched by our business.”
The textile industry requires a huge amount of water in order to maintain production. Put in perspective, the manufacture of one cotton t-shirt requires over 700 gallons of water.
The textile industry is, globally, the second biggest polluter of water. In China, it’s estimated that about 20% of all wastewater is generated by the textile industry alone. Globally, this number remains fairly consistent.
John Cheh is CEO of the Esquel Group, a global textile manufacturer based in Hong Kong. Cheh acknowledged that the industry must shift focus to “water conservation, wastewater treatment and recycling.”
On May 24, 2017, Planet Textiles will host the Sustainable Textiles Summit, an annual event, in Bangalore. Water use and water pollution by the textile industry has been announced as the theme of the event.
MCL News and Media is owner of Ecotextile News Magazine. The magazine owns the Planet Textiles event and brand.