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Talking Point | August 2014

Waterless t-shirts is the future

A traditional t-shirt uses up to 2,700 litres of clean water. In a country like India where water is scarce, Pure Waste´s unique concept of producing t-shirt without water will definitely have a huge role to play in years to come. In fact, Pure Waste bagged the ´Fashion Act of the Year 2013´ award for this unique concept. The company offers ecologically sustainable fabric alternatives made 100 per cent out of recycled waste.

Kalle MSSttS, Director, Pure Waste Textiles Ltd, in a tOte-a-tOte with Karthik Muthuveeran, shares the idea behind this concept and their plans for the Indian market.

Karthik Muthuveeran: Pure Waste was recently awarded by FINATEX for producing quality denim from pre-consumer waste. Brief us more on this unique concept.

Kalle MSSttS: Pure Waste is the leading manufacturer of ecologically sustainable and premium quality 100 per cent recycled fabrics, yarns and garments. Our products are entirely made out of recycled pre-consumer textile waste. At the moment 10-15 per cent of the material going into the manufacturing of garments goes into waste in the process.

Cotton is a thirsty plant. Cotton production takes 2.6 per cent of the world´s yearly water usage. On average 11,000 litres of water is needed for each kilogram of cotton produced. And on dry areas the water consumption can be almost double, thanks to necessary irrigation systems. To make it worse, more than 70 per cent of cotton is actually produced using irrigation. The results of unsustainable irrigation can be vividly seen especially in Central Asia around Aral Sea, once world´s fourth largest lake, now a toxic desert.

Karthik Muthuveeran: What was the idea behind introducing this unique concept of waterless t-shirts?
Kalle MSSttS: The idea behind t-shirts that save water is the fact that cultivating cotton requires huge amount of fresh water. The calculations how much fresh water is needed to produce one kg of cotton fibre vary between 11,000 litres up to over 20,000 litres. Our Pure Waste t-shirt are made 100 per cent from pre-consumer waste, so there is no need to grow any new cotton for them, and so on just with one t-shirt we save 2,700 litres of fresh water. Besides not using any fresh cotton, the colour of the t-shirts come from the recycled waste, so we don´t even need to dye the fabrics.

Our planet is running out of clean fresh water. This is why it´s important to change the way the textile industry operates today.

Karthik Muthuveeran: What makes this concept unique?
Kalle MSSttS
: Our focus in using only 100 per cent recycled fibres. We don´t require any more cotton plants using all that water, we also save the discarded stuff from blocking the planet.

Karthik Muthuveeran: How much is the cost involved? Is it cheaper from the naturally produced t-shirts?
Kalle MSSttS: Cost is not the main thing, but of course an important aspect. As a raw material yarns made from recycled fibre is cheaper than fresh fibre, so by using recycled fibres we actually save money. Additional costs come in from the process, because when using fresh fibres you can buy yarns anywhere, but when we are using only recycled fibres, we need to handle the opening of the waste back into fibres and spin it into yarns. We have seen that there are a lot of spinning mills who are using pre-consumer waste by mixing it with fresh fibre. The goal for them in doing this is to reduce their material costs.

Karthik Muthuveeran: How do you ensure quality of t-shirts?

Kalle MSSttS: We have a third party testing laboratory to check all<

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