In a move that should make environmentalists happy, 33 Chinese textile mills have said that they saved $14.7 million by cutting their use of water, electricity and chemical products. These mills are part of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s (NRDC) ‘Clean by Design’ campaign, a global model for manufacturing sustainability to green the fashion supply chain industry-wide. The campaign was responsible for the improvements including a 36 per cent savings in water use, 22 per cent in electricity and no less than 400 tonnes of chemicals.
According to Linda Greer, NRDC senior scientist and director of ‘Clean by Design’, great fashion can also be green fashion. Although apparel manufacturing is among the largest polluting industries in the world, it doesn’t have to be. There are enormous opportunities for the fashion industry to clean up its act while saving money, and Clean By Design offers low-cost, high-impact solutions to do just that, she added.
China has become the epicenter of global manufacturing over the past two decades, and it currently produces more than 50 per cent of the world’s fabric. The country is suffering from increasingly serious pollution problems while also contributing significant carbon into the atmosphere.