Environmental Sustainability in the Textile Industry
ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY IN THE TEXTILE INDUSTRY
The textile and fashion industry is one of the leading sector in the economies of many countries. It employs billions of workers and hundreds of companies all over the world. Due to its strategic importance, it attracts considerable public attention, in particular as far as all its supply chain is concerned.
Humid processing, such as dyeing and printing, are the most responsible for the spreading of chemical pollutants and the impoverishment of water resources. Hence, the energetic efficiency becomes an important issue to deal with and it entails the need to reduce costs, as well as water resources used to end the working process. This goal can be achieved through the usage of new technologies, which can monitor and reduce these waste.
The software NOW, created and distributed by Datatex, helps companies to be environmental friendly and also monitors every step of their working process.
First of all, it is fundamental to clarify the idea of “product” and its evolution trough the PDM module (Product Data Management) which manages the entire life cycle, revisions, technical improvements and costs cards calculation. These latter become Bill of Material, Routing and Recipe, estimating all raw materials, energy, water and everything necessary for the production phase.
The PDM module explicates the need for sub-contracted work, using suppliers.
The following are examples from the Work Center Capacity module, used to level out all the workloads and minimize waste.
Moreover, Now includes a module that gathers all the flaws and optimize the cuts, to reduce the waste.
Textile industries are responsible of 10% of the world’s amount of greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, they should engage in an important change of their production model.
Indeed, the environmental issue awaked an increased sensitivity in companies and consumers, taking in the foreground problems related to natural resources waste and energies expenses. They should be reduced immediately in order to minimize their impact on our ecosystem.
The eco friendly company, should decrease the environmental impact of its own business, lower its consumption and create products which will be disposed following this main goal.
This purpose can be achieved by the company using our Scheduling Module, through which it is possible to check plants employment during the production process in order to optimize their usage.
The next planning with its own rectification based on warehouse stocks and the oversupply of previous processing, allows you to cut the stocks according to production lead time.
This module manages in a better way all the suppliers for raw materials and for sub- contracted work, by calculating in real time the estimated costs.
The batch traceability (production and purchase from suppliers) allows you to get all the required information in order to obtain all the environmental certification. Through the real cost calculation module we can determine the offset from the original budget for a further check. Moreover, it detects the actual consumption of water, raw materials and energy, ensuring also that all plants are working well.
Along with the Plant Maintenance module and the Predictive Maintenance skills, NOW also allows to improve the plants’ efficiency and reduce the machine run times.
A specific NOW module can assure a certain quality standard level of your products, causing a higher customer satisfaction and improving production activities of your company.
Indeed, with the Quality Assurance Module, you can run tests and check if the consumption targets have been met.
The above-mentioned module helps you to check if the quality standards have been fulfilled and to take corrective actions. You can find below some examples of activities performed by the Quality Assurance system:
- Quality Level Management of incoming, outgoing and during production raw materials
- Setting of quality standards for single products and for groups created for the customer or the supplier
- Quality Assurance Test: parameters and methods to use during these tests
- Setting group headers and standards for the quality check: in order to gather all these standards for a specific item or client
- Quality control standards according to the type of product, production and final consumer
- Entering of all actual data related to Quality assurance checks, performed by the user
- Quality department’s integrated operations, create a request of quality checks coming by all company’s departments, clarify all the actual results and compare them with quality standards.
Hence, Companies are committed to removing or reducing the usage of dangerous substances, by opting for alternative and effective solutions. This change begins to take shape, but much still remains to be done in order to get real alternatives, able to replace completely the chemical substances used today. It is also important to think about how they should be spread across all the textile world, in order to become the new “normality” for each company.
Furthermore, the sustainability is also linked to other important aspects of each company’s life; that is workers health, rights and a constant push towards Research and development. Hence, the company should feel responsible for the context in which it operates, for people it gets in touch with, so it has to consider all the stakeholders.
In order to carry out a true switch towards environmental sustainability, the company should support a technological and organizational improvement, using a software (like NOW), able to manage the production as well as the product life cycle. Hence, the company can use many tools in order to improve its own production activities and handle intelligently the innovation, avoiding any kind of inefficiency.
Moreover, all technologies used by enterprises, allow the reseller to declare to the final consumer where the final item has been made. Indeed, today thank to those technologies, like the ERP, the client can easily find out the entire supply chain of a product, from the producer of raw materials to the final converter, just by reading a Tag on the garment. In so doing the purchase will be well-informed and the consumer can acknowledge the commitment of all those companies which are really involved in a sustainable production.
So, to sum up, we can list all the strategic factors to follow, if you want to be really eco friendly:
- Cooperate with suppliers
- Monitor all the supply chain
- Constant push towards innovation and reuse of raw materials
- Minimize the water resources usage and handle the environmental impacts of products waste
- Take into consideration the relationship with local communities and with consumers. This can be achieved through an open and clear communication of the company’s values and a greater promotion of items recycling (ex bottles, paper….)
Needless to say this eco-friendly switch cannot be quick and painless, because there are many industries involved in the production of those dangerous polluting substances. In order to change completely how the production activity is conceived, it is compulsory to underline two important facts.
Firstly, industries cannot carry on with the current production patterns, using perishable resources that will not be at our disposal forever. Secondly, consumers are much more aware of ecological sustainability and they need a full transparency of company’s information.