Textiles – A Sustainable Approach

Textiles Are More Than Pretty Fabrics And End Results

There is so much more to consider Textiles – A Sustainable Approach

Textiles- A Sustainable Approach
Textiles- A Sustainable Approach

An Unsustainable Problem

High demands, instant gratification and ever-changing trends shape the world we live in. The Textile industry sits at number one for earth’s water pollution! Mainly because of the harsh chemicals and dyes used. Conventional cotton farming uses approximately 25% of all global pesticides and fertilizers yearly. This is a huge agricultural concern.  It leaves the earth used for farming barren. Basically killing off natural resources.

How is this our problem?

The negative impact the Textile Industry has on the earth can only be fueled by its consumers. People can have different opinions on what they are willing to spend on textiles.  How often they replace them.  And how they disregard supporting cheap labour.

Changing people’s minds on how they view things isn’t ever easy. In fact, our natural urge to always be right makes this almost impossible. It’s just unfortunate that an industry with such a rich history of natural fabrics, organic processes and dyes has now become such an environmental concern.

We can not change the whole world’s view on a problem that most don’t even know exists. But what if you had to consider that the production of one cotton shirt needs 2700 liters of water! That is enough water for one person to consume over 900 days! If you had to consider this with your future generations in mind. Would you rethink your buying habits and chase after trends?

A Sustainable Solution

With an organic approach to farming, there are textile producers that strive to produce products with integrity. Production in an open and transparent manner. Their aim is to eliminate chemicals at every stage. This includes dying, so the water is free of harmful chemicals and can be recycled back into the earth. Organic production systems also replenish and maintain soil fertility. These textile products of high quality, are made to last and not to be replaced every season.

If you understood where something came from and how it was made,
would you not value it more?  And what if you paid more for a product of great value? Would it not encourage you to make more conscious purchasing decisions in the future?

It is true that not all of us can afford to pay a high price for an interior product or item of clothing. But the price we pay in the long run is quite substantial.

Our Sustainable Contribution

How can we, especially in the economic environment we find ourselves in today, make a sustainable difference in regards to textiles?

Don’t think your sustainable contribution isn’t going to make an impact

The famous words of Neil Armstrong come to mind: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” As mentioned above, one decision regarding a conventional cotton shirt could save 2700 liters of water and that’s not to mention the water you would use for washing!

Don’t chase sales

Repeat after me: “Just because it is on sale, does not mean I need it.” If you are anything like me, you are probably also a sucker for a “great” sale. Don’t do it! Make more conscious decisions when making purchases. Do I really need this right now? How many seasons am I going to be able to enjoy it? Don’t I already have something similar? Being aware of the impact your consumption has on the environment and mindful buying can go a long way when it comes to making a difference in the world.

Save to purchase a product of high quality that will last. Not something that will just end up on a landfill in a month or two

Support local producers that ensure you get what you pay for.  Initially, it might cost you more.  But replacing something inferior won’t only cause havoc on the environment but on your wallet too.


A word we have been pounded within every other aspect of our lives. We recycle plastic, glass, wood and even electronics! Why not textiles. Clothes To Good is one of many organizations that you can support. Not only will you be recycling. You will be helping in creating micro-business opportunities for Mothers of children with disabilities!

Visit Spice 4 Life  to find out where you can exchange, sell or buy second hand and vintage clothing at affordable prices

Spread the word

Sure, we aren’t all huge influencers with Instagram accounts and thousands of followers. But the butterfly effect is an often misunderstood phenomenon wherein a small change in starting conditions can lead to vastly different outcomes. “You could not remove a single grain of sand from its place without thereby… changing something throughout all parts of the immeasurable whole.” – Fichte, The Vocation of man (1800)

Take that small step, curb the urge, quality not quantity, recycle, remove that grain of sand. But above all else…

Develop a love and appreciation for textiles and where they come from.

Textiles – A Sustainable Approach

Juanita Huisamen

Decor (Textile) Editor

Juanita Huisamen is a mother of three and a network marketer with a passion for all things textiles. She is a Textile Design and Technology Graduate and owner of "Hello Bubu", a company that focuses on unique handmade decor and textiles for children. Her love for Textile history and organic proses is what inspires her the most.

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