One of the main parts of producing a garment is the dyeing of the material. The process is not only important because it determines what kind of colour the piece of clothing is going to be. It also takes a huge part in polluting the environment. Having this in mind, it’s crucial to understand how irreparable the harm is to us and the earth. And most important – what can be done to obtain those beautiful colours without creating more damage. 

Textile dye from up close

It’s no secret that to create fashion, you need to come up with great ideas, and to make it – a lot of water. Almost 79 billion cubic meters per year, to be precise. An important part of it is the dyeing of the fabric, which not only leads to water waste, but also pollutes waters and our health. How? The fabric is soaked into the synthetic dye that is made from all sorts of different chemicals: acid, bleach, formaldehyde, etc., this wastewater is then poured out nearby rivers and lakes. This hazardous waste does not simply vanish but pollutes waterways, the ground, plants and aquatic life. Later on, the particles from this damaging water end up in our food and water as it is not easy to remove dye chemicals from the water.

Alternatives for harmful textile dye

It is pretty shocking to understand that we are consuming what was used to make and dye our clothing. The good news is that some greener ways of dye textiles have been found. For example, Dow came up with the technology that reduces the use of water for cotton dyeing. And if you’re thinking about how you can contribute to greener cleaning, Smol is the company that not only provides cleaning products. They also invite their clients for a discussion about affordable, effective and sustainable means of production.

We should always ask ourselves whether our DIY projects, spring cleaning marathons and colourful brand visions are not soaking into the ground.

May 27, 2021

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