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Sunday, April 21, 2024

World Water Day from the lens of the textile industry

The UN celebrates World Water Day and explore the theme of ‘Water for prosperity and peace’. More than 3 billion people worldwide depend on water that crosses national borders. Yet, only 24 countries have cooperation agreements for all their shared water.

As climate change impacts increase, and populations grow, there is an urgent need, within and between countries, to unite around protecting and conserving our most precious resource. This World Water Day, let’s learn about the textile industry’s impact on our water sources. Water is an essential resource for most organizations, and reducing its footprint has many benefits.

The textile sector relies heavily on water for the processing of raw materials and the finishing of textiles. During these processes, dyes and chemicals are released into our waterways and contaminate the water sources that are vital for drinking, bathing, farming, and recreation. Synthetic fibers, such as polyester and polyamide, are also a major contributor to water pollution.

These fabrics are not biodegradable and can take hundreds of years to break down. They are also highly absorbent, which means that microplastics and other toxins on our waterways will cling to them. This can harm wildlife, contaminate drinking water and spread toxins to other ecosystems. Moreover, textile dyeing is the second-largest polluter of water worldwide, with the fashion industry producing 20% of the world’s wastewater.

Businesses, organizations can take steps to reduce their water footprint and make the textile sector more sustainable. Businesses can start by replacing synthetic fabrics with organic and recycled alternatives, such as bamboo, hemp, or organic cotton. This will not only reduce water use, but will also eliminate the need for harsh dyes and chemicals, further reducing water pollution. Organizations can also reduce their water footprint by buying fewer or used items, or investing in sustainable textiles.

The textile sector is one of the world’s largest polluters of water. World Water Day is a day set aside to remind individuals and organizations of the importance of clean water sources. Our actions can have a profound impact on our waterways. Now more than ever, it is important for businesses to consider their water footprint and take steps to reduce it.

By investing in sustainable materials, recycling water and reducing the amount of water used in their processes, companies can play a vital role in the fight against water pollution.

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