Big data “ the need of textile industry”

According to Wikipedia definition the big data is a term that use to refer to the study and application of big data sets that are so big and complex that the traditional techniques are inadequate to deal with them.

Big data is used to describe how these large amounts of data can be used to understand, analyze and addresses issues in a real time. Big data is a raw material for any domain expertise that requires help for growth and solving current sets of problems.

The textile industry is passing through a phase called “Fast Fashion” that creating a negative impact on environment and human lives across the globe. The impacts like microfiber pollution, landfills, water pollution, air pollution, health hazards and social issues were discussed across various forums along with potential solutions.

The big data is going to play very crucial role while addressing the issues pertaining to textile industry. The combination of big data and textile domain expertise will help to reduce negative impact of fast fashion overconsumption

The methodology for big data mining is a virtue of real time analytics

  • Monitoring
  • Analyzing
  • Interpreting
  • Identification
  • Implementation

Big data creates scope for growth and improvement for traditional industries like textiles and helps in creating tools required to do so.

The scale of textile industry is enough to sense the opportunities of bringing big data to the sector. Big data will provide an infrastructure for transparency in textile industry.

Improvement in supply chain, product quality, curbing negative environment & social impacts provide the greatest benefit of big data for textile manufacturing

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Actual Cost of Fast Fashion

There are lot of surveys & studies available on social media platforms about consumer awareness to sustainable clothing and their willingness to pay more. The surveys indicate that consumers are aware about sustainable supply chain and don’t mind paying extra for sustainable production practices.

But the scenario pictured in these surveys didn’t reflect in actual world and demand for sustainable clothing is not reflecting in supply chain practices. The brands are still pressurizing for cheaper alternatives and suppliers are making it possible with non-sustainable practices.

The fashion brands are competing each other on prices and squeezing manufactures to reduce prices every time with a threat of shifting orders to low cost economy countries indirectly encouraging them to cut corners.

Fast fashion cycle ignores the social and environmental aspects to generate good profits. Labor & environment are paying prices for cheap clothing. The model of fast fashion build on careless production and endless consumption

Even as manufactures grapple with high raw material prices, retail apparel prices going down

The consumers should be aware about actual cost they are paying for fast fashion model which includes growing cost of human health & environment. Making consumers part of problem and make them realize, what they are paying over and above the cost mentioned on labels will definitely help in generating demand for sustainable clothing.

Consumers role in making clothing industry sustainable

Sustainable development is a system that meets the need of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Achieving sustainability in any business or process will enable the earth to continue supporting the needs to produce & consume.

Healthy ecosystem and environment are necessary to the survival. The producer and consumer together should think about sustainability to keep balancing what they take and what ecosystem generates?

The clothing industry is moving towards fast fashion cycle. The fast fashion cycles have negative impact on entire ecosystem by the way of

  • depletion of resources on much faster pace
  • Increase in pollution levels
  • Dumping waste

The producers are taking little steps in making clothing sustainable way, but justify fast fashion movements by the consumer demand

Therefore, consumers should think about mentioned aspects before justifying fast fashion buying

  1. Do I need & Will it last (Love your cloths and keep wearing them for longer periods)
  2. Ask suppliers about environment impact in making & usage (sustainable labelling)
  3. Take care of your cloths (read care labels)
  4. Select brand & retailers based on transparency (about their supply chain)
  5. Less maintenance needs
  6. Recyclability

Textile Processing – Environment & Compliance Standards “bluesign”

The bluesign is a system that helps suppliers to produce sustainable, safer & ethical textiles. It screens hazardous substances right from the beginning of the textile supply chain and define the standards for an environmentally friendly, safe and socially right production. This not only ensures that the final textile product meets very stringent consumer safety requirements worldwide but also provides confidence to the consumer to acquire a sustainable product.

The five principals of bluesign system are

  • Resource productivity
  • Consumer safety
  • Water emission
  • Air emission
  • Occupational health & Safety

To become a bluesign partner (Brands, Manufactures & Chemical Suppliers) must follow the criteria defined for requirements of inputs, production sites, and products. Bluesign system partners are required to meet a must high level of standards for people and environment. The companies are audited regularly by on site assessment. The certified products may be label as bluesign approved.

A useful feature of the bluesign system is the definition of limit values and ban for the chemical components based on latest scientific studies.

The criteria are –

Criteria of homologation / Criteria of production sites and companies / Criteria for consumer goods

The criteria of homologation (risk assessment of chemicals) is defined by ratings.

  • Blue Category (meet all requirements)
  • Grey Category (can be used in certain defined conditions)
  • Black Category (Banned)

The criteria of production sites and companies follow the principle of best available sustainable technology and social responsibility defined by UN standards

The criteria for consumer goods is defined by bluesign system substance list – BSSL (consumer safety limits)

Consumer products carrying the bluesign product label meet the strict safety and environmental requirements of the bluesign criteria. These products are made of bluesign approved fabrics and accessories and are produced in a resource conserving way with a minimum impact on people and the environment.

Chemical formulations reviewed by Bluesign will be recognized as having Level 3 conformance and will be listed on the ZDHC Gateway

(source of article – https://www.bluesign.com/index.html)

Facts about the effect of plastic on the environment:

500 billion plastic bags used each year
13 million tons of plastic leaks into the ocean each year
17 million barrels of oil used on plastic production each year
1 million plastic bottles bought every minute
100,000 marine animals killed by plastics each year
100 years for plastic to degrade in the environment
90% of bottled water found to contain plastic particles
83% of tap water found to contain plastic particles

5 biggest culprits countries –

China>Indonesia>Philippines>Vietnam>Sri Lanka

The theme for World Environment Day 2018 is ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’

How you can help : there are a lot of ways through which we can minimize its use,

Refusing the use of plastic straws

Skipping the  plastic bottles

Using reusable bags

Biodegradable packaging material

Planet Textiles 2018 # A PITCH FOR THE PLANET

Micro fibre pollution, recycling of discarded clothing, biodegradability, chemical management, microbes for making chemicals & dyes were main themes at the Planet Textiles 2018 held at Vancouver Canada on 22nd May

The event which focuses on sustainability in fashion supply chain brought together specialists across manufacturing and regions

Held in partnership with SAC (Sustainable Apparel Coalition) and MCL news & media the conference agenda was focus on clothing microfibre pollution, chemical management, deforestation, financial mechanisms for sustainable innovations, a pitch for the planet – session addressed by innovators focused on various part of fashion supply chain.

A pitch for the planet session moderated by Rogier van Mazijk of “Fashion for Good” focus on progress towards more sustainable alternatives – promising technologies that can be scaled up in coming future.

Textile dyes and chemicals made using microbes was relatively new insight for audience. Proklean Technologies VP Business Development & Environmental Sustainability Karun Tyagi spoken about the process of making metabolites from consortium of natural microbes (probiotics) that has been used for diverse industrial applications like textiles, leather, waste water management etc. The textile chemicals made from probiotics can overcome or reduce the challenges faced by textile wet processing industry like high usage of water & energy, high effluent discharge, toxic waste etc. The environmental benefits of Probiotic technology are

  • Up to 20% saving on water & energy
  • Up to 30% reduction in effluent load
  • Up to 40% reduction in chemical usage
  • Up to 15% reduction in processing time
  • Safer for users
  • Readily biodegradable

Lived in Linear Economy #Shifting to Circular

We had lived our lives in linear economy where the emphasis was on consuming resource to make product, use the product and finally dispose it. As the number of people growing on earth this translates into need of more raw material, more manufacturing and this leads to more waste.

Linear economy was not a problem till the time our economies were small as compared to our eco system. But things were getting difficult from a point where our economies scaled up drastically and our eco system could not support it. In simple words what we are taking from eco system is much more than eco system generates in course of time. Also, we are making our eco system a dumping ground for non-biodegradable things.

Linear economies were supported by cheap energy, cheap raw materials and cheap credit available. But things are changing as resources are getting costlier, resource availability is also becoming harder, ecosystem is declining and financial system across world is getting complexed

So linear economies are not sustainable any more.

The efforts are ongoing to shift towards circular economy where the basic principle is to recover, reuse, generate less waste and use of renewable energies. The circular economy is operating system that should work like our natural eco system.

The circular economy is best depicted by ellen macarthur foundation butterfly diagram

https://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/circular-economy/interactive-diagram