Sustainable Textile Challenges - Discuss & Debate

All Challenges All Questions

Challenge category : Reducing water pollution in textile value chain

Challenge question : How can we minimize the amount of textile wastewater generated?

December 2020

Stakeholders : EHS professionals , Energy management professionals , Production professionals , Researchers or innovators , Textile and fashion designers , Textile industry sustainability professionals , Textile waste management professionals ,

The best way to treat waste is not to generate waste in the first place.

While generating zero waste water might be difficult in textile processing, avenues that can significantly reduce the amount of wastewater produced during operations can go a long way in making textile industries more sustainable.





Carbon Focus





Support Organisations

Waste minimisation in textile industry

This article makes an attempt to review the various waste minimisation techniques and possibilities that are available for the textile industry. The strategies and technologies discussed apply to all types of wastes such as hazardous materials, non-hazardous materials, water, energy, raw materials, all waste emissions, and other resources.

Some of the prominent techniques discussed include source reduction of waste, reducing water and chemical consumption, energy conservation, solid waste generation minimization and more.


  • Optimizing water consumption and reuse for waste reduction
  • Minimizing chemical usage strategies to reduce wastewater generation
  • Feasibility analysis of in-plant control for water minimization and wastewater reuse in a wool finishing textile mill

    This study evaluates the feasibility of water minimization and wastewater reuse for a wool finishing textile mill. The evaluation process is based upon a detailed analysis on water use, process profile and wastewater characterization, indicating a potential for 34% reduction in water consumption and for 23% of wastewater recovery for reuse.

    Wastewater reuse requires treatment and results in a remaining wastewater stream with stronger characteristics and consequently more costly to treat. The feasibility includes technical considerations for appropriate treatment alternatives and related cost factors for water consumption, treatment for reuse and for discharge either to sewer or to receiving media.


  • Water minimization and wastewater reuse for a wool finishing textile mill
  • Wastewater recovery for reuse of textile wastewater
  • Cost factors for reuse of textile wastewater
  • Restructuring in the flow of textile wastewater treatment and its relationship with water quality in Doce River, MG, Brazil

    Textile industries use large amounts of water in the processes of dyeing and processing of textile fibers, generating high volumes of wastewater containing dyes, surfactants, inorganic ions, wetting agents, among others. The main environmental impact of these effluents is related to the absorption of light into the water, which interferes with the photosynthesis of plants and algae. Therefore, it is relevant to have environmental planning aimed at the reuse of the water, increased removal of dyes, as well as reducing losses in the dyeing.

    In this work, studies were undertaken to propose control measures so as to introduce the concepts of Cleaner Production (CP) in the textile sector. Data was collected in a company located in the catchment area of the river Doce, in Minas Gerais, and established the association of the relative advantages of conventional coagulation/flocculation with the combined use of Advanced Oxidation Processes (AOP). The proposed measures entail a decrease in the volume and characteristics of the refractory sludge generated and the possibility of recirculation of treated effluent. The need to develop pilot-scale experiments was identified, including monitoring of the acute toxicity of treated effluents.


  • Possibility of sludge refraction and recirculation in textile processing
  • Eco-efficiency techniques for textile manufacturers
  • Growth and improvement of technologies for wastewater treatment
  • Minimizing freshwater consumption in the wash-off step in textile reactive dyeing by catalytic ozonation with novel catalyst

    In textile reactive dyeing, dyed fabrics have to be rinsed in the wash-off step several times to improve color fastness. Thus, the multiple rinsing processes drastically increase the freshwater consumption and also generate massive waste rinsing effluents. This paper addresses an innovative alternative to recycle the waste effluents to minimize freshwater consumption in the wash-off step. Accordingly, catalytic ozonation with a highly effective catalyst has been applied to remedy the waste rinsing effluents for recycling.

    The carbon aerogel (CA) hosted bimetallic hybrid material was fabricated and used as the catalyst in the degradation of residual dyes in the waste rinsing effluents by ozonation treatments. The results indicate the participation of the catalyst significantly enhanced the removal percentage of chemical oxidation demand by 30%. In addition, it has been validated that waste effluents had been successfully reclaimed after catalytic ozonation. They could be additionally reused to reduce freshwater consumption in the wash-off step, but without sacrificing the color quality of corresponding fabrics in terms of color difference and colorfastness.

    This study may be the first to report the feasibility of catalytic ozonation in minimization of freshwater consumption in the wash-off step in textile reactive dyeing.


  • Strategies for minimizing water consumption
  • Use of the catalyst Ag–Fe2O3@CA in catalytic ozonation for recycling textile wastewater
  • Minimization of water and chemical use in a cotton/polyester fabric dyeing textile mill
  • Regeneration and reuse of highly polluting textile dyeing effluents through catalytic ozonation