Sustainable Fibres and Textiles - Chapter 1: Introduction to Sustainable Fibres and Textiles

Elsevier, Sustainable Fibres and Textiles, The Textile Institute Book Series, 2017, Pages 1-18
Ponnusamy Senthil Kumar and Subburaj Suganya

After agriculture, the textile sector is the oldest and dates back several centuries ago. In terms of trade, gross domestic product, and the overall Index of Industrial Production, the garment industry grows 5.4% every year, according to the Cotton Textiles Export Promotion Council. Hot and humid weather, locally available labour, raw cotton, the generation of hydropower, entrepreneurial skills and port facilities and transport systems are favourable to the textile industry and create a great demand for the production of yarn. Meanwhile, problems exist in the textile industry owing to disorganized systems and infrastructure, the global recession, strong competition in the world market, a lack of energy and electricity and diminishing export orders. A rise in the price of raw materials resulted in lower productivity, advanced machinery and modernization, bringing down the value of textile products. The textile industry is also responsible for a major part of the total industrial pollution that affects farmland and rivers. To overcome these demands and environmental impacts, organic farming helps in the cultivation of highly drought-tolerant crops. They are grown to be eco-friendly, for waste-to-wear technology. The processing and supply chain is also concerned about the long-term health of the planet, by reducing the release of CO2 into the environment. This chapter discusses the upgrading of technology that results in a less concentrated feed, no or a less harmful effect on the environment and traceability and transparency in the product, which guarantees minimum standards with regard to sustainability.