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Every March, we celebrate World Water Day by thinking of the essential role water resources play in the fashion world and how we can pay it back by being kinder and more sustainable as an industry. This year, we chose to investigate the water-focused environmental issues our field is responsible for and the actionable solutions that will allow nature and style to coexist.
The fashion industry consumes more water than you think. Research by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation found that more than 90 billion cubic meters, which are over 20 trillion gallons of water, are used to manufacture garments each year. In the past, rivers were diverted to supply water to cotton farms, drying up entire regions and harming the local ecosystem.
In addition to water use, fashion businesses also pollute water resources by using hazardous chemicals. The fashion industry causes around 20% of global industrial water pollution. Processes like finishing and dying are highly polluting and apply chemicals to fabrics to make them softer, brighter, or more durable. These chemicals reach our water resources and cause severe damage. Textile dyeing is considered one of the most polluting procedures, and certain regions in Asia report that entire rivers have changed color due to this problem.
More recent criticism involving fashion and water has to do with the microplastics released into the ocean due to synthetic textile washing. It is said that more than a third of the microplastics found in the sea come from fashion-related procedures and waste. When fabrics like polyester, acrylic, and nylon are washed, they release tiny plastic fibers. Overall, we’re talking about half a million tonnes of plastic microfibers shed every year from synthetic fabrics. This waste may start small but ends up polluting massive oceans.
Kornit saves the day (and our water resources)
Where the problems are many, we’re proud to offer a solution. Our products are designed to form waterless procedures that significantly reduce the industry’s water consumption and pollution. We eliminate the need for pre or post-treatments that could have been incredibly polluting. Finally, we use eco-friendly inks that do not include hazardous chemicals and don’t pollute our water resources. Kornit’s water-based Neopigment inks are non-toxic, free of heavy metals, and phthalate-free.
Technology can be a wonderful thing, but we have to make a conscious effort to harness it in a positive way. At Kornit, we choose to use our industry influence and advanced technologies to make this world better for businesses and nature alike. Join us in this effort, and let’s raise a glass of water to life and H20!