When I think of the problems of the world, the first thing that comes through my mind is clothing.

Have you ever thought about of how many clothes there are in the world? Just think about how many clothes you have in your closet. Than think about how many clothes you have in your house. How many clothes are in a store? How many clothing stores are in a neighborhood? How many clothing stores are in a city? How about in a Country?

There are more than 7 billion people on Earth. One billion is a very very big number. If one person would start counting one number per second it would take him like 30 years to get to a billion.

Now think about this. If each person from this planet would own only a single pair of pants, one shirt, and one jacket, that would be somewhere around 21 billion of clothing articles. Well, think about the fact that each of us have more than three items of clothing.

Most of people love fashion and clothes and shopping and they spend a lot of money on clothes, because people are getting more and more conscious about the way they dress and look. To create an impression and to represent your personality through clothes became a must.  Which is not a bad thing watching it from inside the box. From the outside on the other hand, it looks catastrophically. The textile industry is one of the most pollutants releasing industries in the world. Millions of gallons of water are wasted every day, but that is not even the major problem. The water is used in order to dye the clothing. The problem is that the wasted water is not treated in order to remove the pollutants before it is disposed. The chemicals that are in the waste water can cause diseases and serious health problems to humans. The biggest water pollution problem in the world is happening in China, being the top textile exporter to companies on all the planet.  In China an estimated 70% of rivers and lakes are being polluted. A quarter of the Chinese population do not have access to clean water. The waste water contains aromatic amines, heavy metals, ammonia, toxic solids and large amount of pigments, and lots of other chemicals. The saddest thing of all is that many of these chemicals cannot be filtered or removed.

What could be done in order to solve this major problem?

There is a dyeing method that reduces pollution and water use through using carbon dioxide dyeing technology. Heated carbon dioxide is put under extreme pressure so it has both liquid and gas proprieties. The dyes are used into carbon dioxide fluid and is absorbed in the fabric. When the carbon dioxide cools, the clothes dry, and the carbon dioxide returns to a gaseous state so that 95% of carbon dioxide can be recycled and used again.

This method wouldn’t be so harmful for the environment and for the body water that flows in the houses of the population. Hopefully more companies will use it and the Chinese will have much cleaner water.

Cecilia Gergely

References:

http://www.sustainablecommunication.org/eco360/what-is-eco360s-causes/water-pollution

https://www.wpi.edu/Images/CMS/Firstyear/Fashionable-Water-Use-and-Pollution-in-the-Textile-Dyeing-Industry.pdf.pdf75d2a626962918f2c584f39364d66b79 water-pollution-china-1

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