The textile and fashion industries are massive contributors to global environmental pollution. An article in the New York Times stated that 85% of textile waste ends up in landfills.
The textile industry is booming in India. It contributes to almost 7% of the industrial output in the country. According to a study by Mondal, Baksi and Bose, of all the water consumed by textile industries, 90% of it appears as wastewater. Textile-effluent water plays a great role in industrial pollution in India.
The industry produces vast amounts of wastewater, which contains harmful substances such as lead, inorganic salts, and textile dyes. Studies show that these pollutants can cause ulcers as well as increase the chances of dermatitis and hemorrhages.
Approximately 40% of globally consumed textile colorants is organically bound chlorine—a known carcinogen. This cancer-causing substance can enter our bodies not only through the water we’re drinking or using to wash ourselves, but also through the air we breathe. Even if these chemicals are present in wastewater, they can be inhaled when they evaporate.
This won’t only create new diseases but will also exacerbate existing respiratory conditions such as asthma.
Wastewater is extremely toxic to the environment. Chemicals present in the waste can work to block sunlight and create an environment in the water where photosynthesis and reoxygenation is nearly impossible.
In addition to harmful dyes, the textile industry uses anti-microbial agents that are resistant to the natural, biological process of degradation. This means that these agents don’t decay. They’ll stick around in the environment for longer periods of time.
Results from a study conducted in and around the Ludhiana district in India, indicates that textile effluents are highly toxic not only for the humans living in the area but also show detrimental effects on the environment.
According to research obtained by CPCB, between 1995 and 2009, the organic and bacterial contaminants in Indian waterbodies were critical.
Industrial wastewater as a result of textile factories is not something that only affects India—the problem is worldwide. Many people realize the devastating rates at which the planet is being destroyed.
If you’re environmentally conscious like us at Whitehouse and Schapiro, you’ll understand that a major part of the solution is reducing our consumption of fast-fashion. This can be done by purchasing secondhand shoes and clothing.
Our company acquires most of the items through secondhand clothes suppliers in Baltimore. Thus, if you’re interested in donating shoes and clothes in Baltimore, call us at 410-356-8003 or get in touch with us online.