The environmental impact of the global textile industry

The environmental impact of the global textile industry is hard to overstate. One-third of the water used worldwide is spent fashioning fabrics. For every ton of cloth , 200 tons of water is polluted with chemicals and heavy metals. An estimated 1 trillion kilowatt-hours of electricity powers the factories that card and comb, spin and weave, and cut and stitch materials into everything from T-shirts to towels, behind mountains of solid waste and a massive carbon footprint. “Where the industry is today is not really sustainable for the long term,” says Shreyaskar Chaudhary, chief executive of Pratibha Syntex, a textile manufacturer based outside Indore, India. With something of an “if you build it, they will come” attitude, Mr. Chaudhary has steered Pratibha the leading edge of eco-friendly textile production. Under his direction, Pratibha began making clothes with organic cotton in 1999 Initially, the company couldn’t find enough organic farms growing cotton in central India {to supply} its factories. To meet production demands, Chaudhary’s team had to convince conventional cotton farmers to change their growing methods. Pratibha provided seeds, cultivation instruction, and a guarantee of fair-trade prices for THEIR crops. Today, Pratibha has a network of 28,000 organic cotton growers across the central states of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Orissa.

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Title The environmental impact of the global textile industry
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