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Cover Story | April 2015

Sustainability wave rolls on!

Sustainability is the new mantra of the industry worldwide, particularly the textile industry. The waves are slowly turning into a tide, and have been touching deeply the Indian shores too. An ITJ Exclusive story unveils some of the vistas of this new wave.

The buzzword is Sustainability. The Year 2015 is considered the Year of Sustainability. Sustainability touches every aspect of industry, lives.... and continuation of humankind on earth. For the textile industry, this is of greater urgency. Because textile processes are more polluting and resource-depleting activities.

Out of various activities in textile industry, chemical processing contributes about 70 per cent of pollution. Water is key to the textile processes. Mills consume large volumes of water for various processes such as sizing, de-sizing, scouring, bleaching, mercerisation, dyeing, printing, finishing and ultimately washing. Due to the hundreds of harmful chemicals routinely used in washing and dying fabric, the textile industry is also the No.1 industrial polluter of fresh water on the planet. Even the ITMA 2015, the Olympics for the textile industry has adopted the theme of ´Master the Art of Sustainable Innovation´ and has gone to the extent of instituting Awards to celebrate sustainability.

A few years back, in order to determine the level of preparedness of the Indian industry, cKinetics carried out a survey across firms operating in the Textile and Apparel value chains in India. The study, a first of its kind in India, was conceived to generate a comprehensive grounds-up view of the industry´s ability to capture and report energy utilisation, GHG emission and water consumption at a unit and sector level. As expected, the findings indicated that the industry is at an early stage of adopting measurement of various parameters related to sustainability. The question for most enterprises is whether the domestic consumer is willing to pay the price for the transition to a cleaner cloth making process. As an industry, the process of transition looks challenging, indeed may well kill a substantial section of the small scale sector.

Karel Williams, Global Strategic Marketing Manager, Dow Mircobial Control, says, ´Sustainability is important not only to the textile industry, but to every industry, because operating in a safe and environmentally sound manner is critical to long-term success. Dow Microbial Control is committed to using its resources more efficiently, providing value to its customers and stakeholders, delivering solutions for customer needs and enhancing the quality of life for current and future generations.´

Sustainability is an important aspect in the development of all Dow Microbial Control products. SILVADUR(TM) Antimicrobial is a sustainable technology. It can be readily formulated into water-based finishes, which are reusable and recyclable, providing cost-saving co-application opportunities while, at the same time, protecting the environment. In addition, SILVADUR has been assessed by the International Oeko-Tex Association as harmless to human health, provided it is used as indicated and designated.

Even fabric and yarn manufacturer Century Rayon took a step towards sustainability. Century Rayon, Shahad (a division of Century Textiles & Industries Limited, the flagship company of B. K. Birla Group of companies), has become the first textile company in India to be awarded with the STeP by OEKO-TEX® Certificate for Sustainable Textile Production.

Century Rayon meets the requirements for the chemical management systems. The company has an environment policy, which serves as a basis for each task. All environmental relevant areas have been taken care in the frame work of management system. The company has been investing for continuously improving the environmental balance and for preservation of natural r

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