Positive moves to Improve the Textile Sector’s Eco credentials: Time to Stop Talking and Act, says Peter Broom

Peter Broom, Technical and Innovation Director of the award-winning Meryl Fabrics, believes that the textile industry must do more to improve its eco and sustainability credentials.

Peter looks at how new dyeing techniques can remove the damaging impact the sector has on the environment.

As consumers become more eco-aware they are increasingly calling for apparel which meets their environmental and sustainability demands. Indeed research shows that 31 percent of Gen X would buy more sustainable clothing if it was available.

What we, the textile industry, must understand is that we have accept that change is needed if we are to be in tune with our customers who really do care about what happens to our planet.

The recent COP27 gathering has been a reminder that there is still much to be done to protect the planet and the sector mustn’t shy away from our role in both being the problem and the solution.

This is particularly important as the World Economic Forum says that the fashion industry and its supply chain is, after food and construction, the planet’s third largest polluter.

It’s our responsibility to see how we can make changes and do things better. It must be more than simple green washing and means developing sustainable materials to offset the textile industry’s detrimental environmental effects.

We need to stand up and act before it is too late.

To do this we have to go back to basics.

Research from the environmental sustainability consultancy Quantis found that over 90% of the industry’s environmentally damaging emissions come from just four basic activities – dyeing and finishing; fabric preparation; yarn preparation; and fibre production.

Each process needs action to reduce the textile industry’s negative impact on the environment. Here at Meryl Fabrics the creation of Meryl EcoDye has made advances with dyeing and finishing.

It offers dope dyed fabrics a high-quality colouration and excellent fastness while making the dyeing process more environmentally friendly. With a one-step colourisation process, compared with the traditional two step, it removes the need to produce white fabric and subsequent dyeing.  We add a pigment to our yarn so that the colour becomes an inherent part of the fabric and guarantees the best colour and highest quality control with outstanding fastness to UV rays, washing abrasion, migration and ironing.

This has been tested in closed and open laundry circuits where garments can be washed a minimum of 300 times without losing colour or misshaping.

Dyeing and finishing is also a major water polluter. The World Bank says that 17-20% of all water pollution comes from textile dyeing treatments so the advent of waterless dyeing reduces the environmental harm.

When one tonne of fabric is estimated to use more than 200,000 litres of water and requires a dye discharge with effluent into water systems, then the fact that Meryl EcoDye uses no water makes a colossal saving in water resource.

Meryl EcoDye’s environmental advantages are further strengthened as it has no heavy metals or additional chemicals, solvents or silicones to further protect water sources.

By using products like Meryl EcoDye, we can significantly reduce the environmental impact of textile waste and stop the destruction currently being inflicted on the planet, while helping to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development goals.

We can do this standing up as an industry to say we can do things better and showing that eco-friendly and effective alternatives are available.

We must stop talking about doing something; we have an answer so let’s get on and do it.

About Meryl Fabrics®

Meryl Fabrics® pioneer in hi-tech sustainable materials and owners of the first in-house circular economy offering in textiles, they have recently receiving a trio of much coveted industry awards at the Professional Clothing Industry Association Worldwide Awards 2022.

The PCIAW®  presented the highly innovative manufacturer with the final trophy of the evening, the ‘Industry Award for Sustainability’, as well as Highly Commended awards in two other categories ‘Best Fabric & Fibre Innovation’ and ‘PPE Innovation in Clothing’.

The business is absolutely passionate about revolutionising the textile manufacturing process, eliminating microplastic shedding and reducing the overall environmental impact of professional clothing.

Meryl Fabrics®  was also a headline sponsor of the Professional Clothing Industry Association Worldwide, PCIAW® Summit & Awards 2022, which welcomed UK and internationally-based manufacturers, distributors and retailers to the two day event on 18 and 19 October in London.

At the event the firm also welcomed attendees to the stand so they could benefit from key insights on how they can benefit from Meryl Fabrics®  technology to achieve sustainable solutions within their organisations.

Driven by problem solving, the award-winning Meryl Fabrics® uses Nylstar Hydrogen bonding technology to enhance the molecular structure of fibres; seal-in microplastics within the yarn and improve the durability of garments. Their continual innovation in Meryl® Eco Dye offers a waterless dyeing process, saving thousands of litres of water during manufacture of fabric as they re-engineer the present of apparel. Meryl Fabrics® seeks to replace cotton with its exceptionally soft touch fabrics that feature natural stretch and moisture management properties that are designed to be recycled and offer other businesses a fully circular model in one place.

To learn more, visit https://merylfabrics.com/