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Sustainable Development Practices in the Textile Industry

BULETIN TEKSTIL.COM/ Jakarta – Global modernization follows the historical progression of industrialization. The goal of industrialization is to create a wide range of goods to satisfy consumer demand. A nation requires industry to provide for the diverse requirements of its citizens. Industry is necessary for both its development and the promotion of economic expansion.

The industrial sector gives rise to numerous economic processes. For instance, in the manufacturing sector, locating and acquiring raw materials from suppliers, as well as production operations up to the point of product perfection (finishing) to make it fit for distribution, are all part of the process. According to the Department of Industry (2005), industry plays a crucial role in a nation’s economic development by creating jobs, producing commodities and services that society needs, generating foreign cash through exports, and preserving foreign exchange by substituting imported goods.

Modern industry is developing quite quickly. This is inextricably linked to the quick development of science and technology, which are so adept at adjusting to changing social demands and trends. In addition, the necessity to enhance the value of products made from raw materials and raise their selling price is the foundation of industrial activity. Furthermore, industrial operations may be able to supply these goods that are required for international trade.

One of the industrial sectors with a significant impact on the Indonesian economy is the textile and textile product (TPT) sector. This is due to the fact that one industry that significantly boosts Indonesia’s GDP is the textile sector. The textile industry’s significant contribution to the economy is shown in its high export value and substantial labor absorption.

In 2022, there were 4.7 million workers in the textile, textile product, leather, and footwear industries, according to the Central Statistics Agency (BPS). 3.7 million of these individuals are employed in the sector of the textile and garment industry. The segment of the leather and footwear industry employs an additional 947 thousand people. In addition, the textile and apparel sector’s GDP at Constant Prices (ADHK) contributed IDR 34.8 trillion in the second quarter of 2023.

The objectives of economic growth certainly include the industrial sector in a big way. In order to conduct economic operations at the local and national levels and to expand the market for exports, a nation must engage in industrial activities. It should be highlighted, nevertheless, that there are currently a number of conflicts between environmental impact issues and industrial activities, which are also connected to issues with sustainable development.

Discussions on sustainability and environmental sustainability are popular right now. Conflicts with textile sector production operations fall under this category as well. For instance, industrial needs necessitate the utilization of enormous water resources. For example, according to data from the Australian Industry Group (2019), 200 liters of water are needed for each kilogram of fiber during wet finishing.

The industrial world and corporate paradigms have abruptly shifted due to environmental concerns and sustainable development. Businesses and industry today must do more than just maximize profits. It must, however, also meet a number of requirements for sustainable development. In addition to being socially and environmentally acceptable, they also enjoy economic success. This sustainability issue also affects the textile sector, which at this point accounts for almost 8% of all exports from the country.

It is evident that the textile business has sustainability challenges due to a minimum of five environmental difficulties. First, there is the problem with the fast fashion sector. In order to meet demand, the apparel sector manufactures a great deal of clothing today. In reaction to societal trends in fashion and attire, the production process moves swiftly.

According to research from The Sustainable Fashion Forum, there would be a 63% increase in global apparel consumption by 2030. from 62 million to 102 million tonnes of consumption of textile purchases. According to these projections, 300 million tons of textile waste will be produced globally by 2050.

According to a YouGov survey, 66% of adult Indonesians discard at least one article of clothes annually. As a matter of fact, three out of ten Indonesians discard their clothing after just one wear. Through the National trash Management Information System (SIPSN), the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK) disclosed in 2021 that Indonesia generated 2.3 million tonnes of garment trash, or 12 percent of household waste.

The usage of raw materials that don’t adhere to sustainable standards is another issue. Recycling procedures are necessary for synthetic raw materials that are difficult to break down in order to prevent major issues with textile waste. One of the main sources of waste in landfills is also used clothing. According to data from Fibre2Fashion, 18.6 million tonnes of textile waste were dumped in landfills worldwide in 2020.

The industry’s heavy reliance on water resources is a contributing factor to the sustainability problem, in addition to the fast fashion phenomena and the raw materials used in textile production. The use of chemicals that may contaminate the environment and water, and lastly, the transportation sector’s significant contribution to carbon emissions.

There is no doubt that the way society uses textile and apparel products as consumers could lead to an increase in the quantity of careless textile waste. However, as a policy stakeholder who must be active, the government bears responsibility for sustainable practices in the textile industry in addition to consumers and users.

One measure taken to decrease the amount of clothing that is thrown away that is not fit for consumption is the prohibition on the importation of old clothing into Indonesia. The Indonesian government has rigorously prohibited the import of old clothing through Minister of Trade Regulation number. 40 of 2022 concerning Export Prohibited Goods and Import Prohibited Goods. This has the potential to increase the waste of ready-made apparel.

Furthermore, participants in the textile and textile product industries, ranging from upstream to downstream, need to be engaged in sustainable practices. This is to establish an environmentally sustainable industrial development, a socially and economically viable textile industry, and an industrial area. The textile sector can adopt sustainable development techniques at every stage of the process, from planning and raw material selection to production and finished goods or ready-to-use commodities.

(Red B-Teks/Agus Riyanto, S. Tr. Bns)

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