Monday, April 10, 2017

Waste Management in Apparel Manufacturing Industry

Ecological consciousness and increased environmental awareness are growing steadily worldwide among apparel manufacturers, retailers, and consumers, who are all being encouraged to recycle and buy products made from recycled materials. According to Domina and Koch, apparel is one of the largely unexploited consumer commodities with strong recycling potential.

The most popular global approach to waste management seems to culminate in the 3Rs: reduce, reuse, and recycle, however, refers to 7Rs, adding the concepts of regulations, recovering, rethinking, and renovation. Globally, many of the bigger textile and apparel manufacturers are starting to take an environmental awareness position in the market. Incentives for recycling include savings on resources and their costs, reduction of waste, savings with respect to land filling, and creation of jobs. The apparel industry has been identified as the fastest growing waste recycling concern across the country and processes to encourage public participation and improved education have been some of the industry’s key issues.
Textile recycling is the process by which old clothing and other textiles are recovered for reuse or material recovery. Recycling is a dynamic process and, as markets become saturated with specific products such as wiping cloths and mop heads, new products must be developed and introduced. Clothing and textiles are nearly 100 percent recyclable. The importance of recycling textiles and apparel is increasingly being recognized. Furthermore, special equipment is, for instance, necessary to shred fabrics, to separate waste, and to extract fibers. A third and very important aspect is the cost of products as a barrier to entering the marketplace. Many of the processes are labor-intensive, for example, the sorting of waste.

Textile and apparel recycling is not only essential for waste management but also there are lots of environmental benefits:
  1. Decreases landfill space requirements, bearing in mind that synthetic fiber products do not decompose and that natural fibers may release greenhouse gasses.
  2. Pollution avoidance
  3. Avoided use of virgin fibers
  4. Lessened demand for dyes
  5. Reduced consumption of energy and water
If ones reduces the amount of waste the company produces it will increase profits and help the company to remain competitive. There are few methods to reduction wastage in garment industry. Quality control and care in movement of work in progress help to reduce waste.

The use of landfill sites seems to be the most important practice used by the apparel industry to dispose the solid waste. Lack of technology and suitable equipment are considered to be the major factors hindering recycling. Consumers should be encouraged to use recyclable materials and appreciate the benefits it could generate to them as well as the generations to come.