Denim sustainability and ways to be more sustainable in the denim industry

– By Manjula Gandhi

Denim manufacturers now realize that there is a growing market for ethical and environmental products due to increasing consumer awareness. Fashion brands are now showing that they are actually changing their methods to be more environmentally friendly and ethical Merely expressing their intentions is no longer enough for them. By incorporating sustainable innovation, the denim industry can improve its environmental performance while ensuring its long-term profitability and growth.

Here are a few ways in which the two complement each other:

Eco-Friendly Dyeing Techniques

Conventional methods of denim dyeing have a significant environmental impact due to the use of toxic chemicals and extensive water use. However, technological advances have made it possible to use eco-friendly dyeing techniques such as e-soft, ozone/G2, cold-eco dyeing and laser to reduce the carbon footprint of denim production.

Adopt circular design approach

The circular design approach emphasizes using existing resources to create new products, which goes beyond the traditional linear design model. Therefore, denim designers and manufacturers want to design with circularity by implementing closed-loop production cycles that can reduce waste and reduce resource use.

Use durable materials

Use sustainable materials such as organic cotton, recycled cotton and recycled polyester to reduce the environmental impact of denim production.

Use of solar water heaters and energy-saving lighting

The use of solar water heaters and energy-efficient lighting in denim factories during production is a sustainable approach that can significantly reduce the environmental impact of textile production. Denim production requires substantial amounts of energy to power machinery, lighting and heating, resulting in high energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. To solve this problem, applying solar water heaters can reduce the amount of energy needed to heat water.

Installing an Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP) technology

Deploying Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP) technology in denim production is a highly sustainable method that can significantly reduce the environmental impact of textile production. The production of denim involves the use of significant amounts of water, chemicals and energy, which ultimately results in the generation of highly polluted waste that must be treated before being released into the environment. Applying ETP technology to denim production involves installing a special system that collects all wastewater generated during production, treats it, and releases it into the environment in a way that ensures it meets specific regulatory guidelines regarding wastewater discharge.

Cooperation in sustainability

Collaboration between denim companies and suppliers, industrial enterprises, other industries and relevant organizations helps drive sustainable innovation. Partnerships with innovative companies focused on sustainability with particular expertise in reducing environmental footprints can facilitate the development of new sustainable solutions for the denim industry.

(Manjula Gandhi is Chief Product Officer at Numero UNO. Opinions expressed are the author’s.)


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