The environmental impact of textile production is well documented, with the industry as a whole ranking second only to oil in terms of global pollution levels. Massive energy and water use, together with sky-high levels of discarded chemicals and landfill waste are all key drivers in the calls for closed-loop production.

With AI and smarter automation processes now being introduced to optimize production and manage stock levels, which in turn have eco-benefits, it has been suggested new technologies could also help to reduce the industry’s massive global footprint in other ways.

Dr. Claire Lerpiniere, Senior Lecturer in Textile Design, member of the Textiles Engineering and Materials (TEAM) research group at De Montfort University Leicester, UK, says some 100 billion items of clothing are made every year. 

“A study from 2018 showed that global footwear and apparel emissions were nearly four metric gigatons, nearly as much impact as the entire European Union, and that between 2005 and 2016 the industry’s climate change impact increased by 35%. If we model a ‘business as usual’ scenario over the next 15 years, a projected 49% increase in climate change impact by 2030 can be reasonably assumed. However, there are so many promising initiatives, particularly where campaigning groups, industry, and academia are working together to share best practice.” 

Read the full article on E-Magazine, here.