Textile Dyeing: A Menace to the Environment
Environmental pollution is one of the most serious and urgent problems of the modern world. The dyeing process used by the textile industry is a major contributor to this problem. In order to colour fabrics, the textile industry requires a high volume of water. This water becomes polluted during the industrial dyeing process and is dumped into nearby water sources. The end result is that the environment becomes polluted and contaminated with large amounts of chemical dyes - it is estimated that every year, 280 000 tons of textile dyes are discharged around the world as industrial sewage!
Although “dye-contaminated” water may not sound very harmful, this waste-water is actually incredibly damaging to the local environment and wildlife. The synthetic dyes present in industrial sewage can often prevent light from penetrating into rivers and lakes. This kills off many aquatic plants which rely on photosynthesis to grow and survive. As a result, the food sources for aquatic fauna is severely diminished, and so many of these aquatic animals end up starving to death. In addition, synthetic dyes often cover the surfaces of water by forming into a thin chemical layer. This layer prevents oxygen from dissolving into the water, and so prevents aquatic fauna from being able to properly breathe.
The problem with textile dyes is that they are pollutants which are very stable. This means that they can persist in the environment for long periods of time and gradually build up in concentration. Concerns have therefore been raised that these chemical compounds might be xenobiotic - as these unnatural and artificial dyes build up in the environment, their presence travels up the food chain. Eventually, we might end up consuming these dyes in our food without knowing it! Who knows what harmful effects they might have on the human body?
In order to make a stand against the harmful practices of textile dyeing, PURE® ORGANIC BABY SOCKS encourages the use of organic, naturally coloured cotton. All PURE® baby socks are made using this fabric – the cotton plants it comes from naturally grow in different colours and so do not need to be dyed. Also, unlike dyed fabrics, the natural colours of this eco-friendly alternative do not fade with time. Therefore, with PURE® baby socks you can enjoy the comfort of natural cotton in the knowledge that you are helping to save the environment.
To protect the environment, start by using organic, naturally coloured cotton!
References Pereira, Luciana, and Madalena Alves. Dyes—environmental impact and remediation. Environmental protection strategies for sustainable development. Springer Netherlands, 2012. 111-162.
JinX, Liu G, Xu Z, Yao W (2007) Decolorization of a dye industry effiuent by Aspergillusfumigatus XC6. Appl Microbial Biotechnol 74:239-243