The impact of fashion on the environment is often disregarded when discussing the environmental impact of fashion. Plastic waste, carbon emissions, and overflowing landfills are all issues that people are concerned about. Fabric and textile dyeing is one such area. However, the need for color on the part of the industry and consumers can be just as detrimental to the environment.
Traditional fabric coloration and finishing takes place in big tanks or baths that can consume large amounts of energy, heat, and water to complete the process. According to estimates from the World Resources Institute, the worldwide textile industry needs between 6 and 9 trillion liters of water per year just for fabric dyeing, which is enough to fill over 32 million Olympic-size swimming pools. In many cases, post-production water with leftover dye, mordants (fixatives), chemicals, and micro- fibers is discharged directly into waterways without being processed.
A substantial contributor to climate change has been discovered as textile dyeing and finishing operations. According to sustainability expert Quantize, these processes account for around 3 percent of total carbon emissions, with that percentage growing to 10 percent by 2050.
India has a long and illustrious cultural past that dates back thousands of years. A traditional form of art exists in almost every region, and it consists of a variety of mediums such as drawings, paintings, embroideries, carvings, handicrafts, weaving, and other forms of production. Our country’s diversity distinguishes it from others. However, as a result of rising urbanization and industrialization, these trades are rapidly becoming extinct.
People have begun to divert their attention away from traditional handicrafts and handlooms and toward new developments in this fast-paced technology-driven environment. There are several causes for this. Machine-made things are less expensive and take much less time to produce. These crafts, on the other hand, were practised as part of a tradition and culture. India’s rich folk culture is on the edge of extinction. As a result, many artisans and craftsmen are becoming poorer by the day and are being forced to change careers. It is critical to preserve and conserve traditional craft skills and knowledge. Without a doubt, contemporary and modern arts are being pushed, but ancient arts must also be encouraged. Beautiful Mithila paintings, Parsi & Toda needlework, Rajasthani Roghan painting, and Dhokra craft are all threatened.
Even Assam’s and Nagaland’s indigenous puppetry and handicrafts are progressively vanishing. These crafts have been practiced for several generations, and practitioners fear that this generation will be the last to practice them because the next generation will not be patient or hardworking enough. They are also paid far less than they deserve for their hard work and abilities. “There are lots of sustainability innovations, from recycled fabrics to textiles made from food production waste, but little attention has been paid to transforming the most polluting part of fashion: textile dyeing,” says Dee Roche, head of marketing at Alchemie Technology – a UK innovator of low-energy, waterless textile dyeing and finishing.