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The textile industry focuses on the manufacture of end user products for local and international consumers. These products include garments, household goods and industrial textiles from natural and man made fibres.

SIB in the textile industry:

A sustainable textile industry is bound to consider the four main factors that affect this sector. These include; Raw material extraction, textile production, added chemistry and end-of-life.

Firstly, raw material extraction should address the use of land and water used to grow natural fibres such as cotton and wool and the impact of extracting fossil fuels for synthetic fibres such as nylon and polyester.

Secondly, textile production is highly dependent on high usage of water and energy by the manufacturers and generating waste. SIB assists in addressing these issues through effective ways and incorporating both the internal and external working environment.

Thirdly, added chemistry is another factor that involves the usage of dyes, finishes and coatings whereby their impact on health of workers as well as the consumers of the final product should be considered

Lastly, the end of life scenario looks into the textile biodegradability and reclamation of infrastructure required in order to turn the waste into new material.

Good practices that adapt to the factors mentioned above effectively results in achieving long-term profitable goals and hence sustainability leading to inevitable growth in the sector.

Challenges and SIB Issues in the Textile Sector:

  • High energy use, resource depletion and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are caused from processing fossil fuels into synthetic fibres. Textile businesses result to these methods of production due to the low cost acquired compared to use of natural fibres.
  • The textile industry is highly correlated to labour exploitation  and  work health risks especially that in developing countries in order to gain competitive advantage through minimum costs.
  • High rate of water usage associated with the production stage including the pre-treatment chemicals, dyes and finishes is seen as problematic due to water scarcity.

Needs of SIB in the Textile Sector:

The textile industry is highly prone to the factors mentioned above in their production processes of which creates a high need for sustainable practices in order to eradicate these issues. In todays market both local and international consumers are very keen in knowing the value chain of the product.  This has led to creating pressures on textile manufactures in identifying who their suppliers are and how sustainable are their for the people, planet and profit. However, sustainability also does provide businesses in ensuring their consumer behavior is also sustainable by providing product specification such as product care for and disposal methods once they have reached their end-of-life.


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