Been thinking about the effects of the textiles you all are wearing? Let me unravel some of the effects of textile production in this blog.
Firstly, eutrophication. This refers to “the over-enrichment of water by nutrients such as nitrogen phosphorus” (World Resources Institute , n.d.). Textile production releases ammonium nitrate and triple superphosphate into the environment (refer to my previous post). Figure 1 shows the environmental impacts of yarn production per 100kg of yarn.
Figure 1: environmental impacts of yarn production per 100kg of yarn (Retrieved from van der Were and Turunen,2008)
Another impact is water pollution. Figure 3 shows the environmental impacts on water supply due to textile. Harmful wastewater are being released into the environment. Have a look at the video below to catch some glimpse on the problems faced by Textile Towns in China.
Drawing into the context of Singapore, many of our clothing are made of cotton, due to the temperate climate. “Cotton production (mades up) 18% of worldwide pesticide use and 25% of total insecticide use” (The True Cost, 2015). During period of high rainfall and other activity, the pesticide and insecticide will be washed into water bodies, and is harmful to human health.
Notable here is that textile production not only harms the environment, but there is also a direct impact on the health of the people residing in the towns, which are often neglected by the profit-driven textile industry.
This points down to one of the driving forces of pollution in the textile industry. To minimise costs, the textile industries uses inefficient production methods and also dispose the waste conveniently into nearby water sources.
To sum up, textile industries have negative impacts on the environment such as eutrophication and pollution of water sources. It is estimated that “17 to 20% of industrial water pollution comes from textile dyeing and treatment” and this shows the extent and severity of textile industrial pollution (Jackson, 2014). This shows that efforts have to be in place of textile industrial pollution, which will be covered in my next post. Do stay with me for this three-part series.
Jackson, J. (2014, October 6). Assessing hte Environmental Imapct of the Fashion World . Retrieved October 1, 2016, from http://www.environmentalleader.com/2014/10/06/assessing-the-environmental-impact-of-the-fashion-world/
The True Cost . (2015). Environmental Impact . Retrieved October 1, 2016, from http://truecostmovie.com/learn-more/environmental-impact/
van der Werf, H. M., & Turunen, L. (2008, January ). The environmental impacts of the production of hemp and flax textile yarn. Industrial Crops and Products , 27(1), 1-10.
World Resources Institute . (n.d.). About Eutrophication . Retrieved OCtober 1, 2016, from http://www.wri.org/our-work/project/eutrophication-and-hypoxia/about-eutrophication
Video Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KdrHIAISsvA