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Published on Friday, 28 September 2012

Dyehouse pollution: pragmatism versus principles

Written by John Mowbray

RITE logoLONDON – The question of dyehouse pollution comes under the spotlight in a breakout session at the upcoming RITE Conference on sustainable textiles, which takes place on October 10th in London. The session is particularly pertinent given the recent call for zero discharge of hazardous chemicals in the textile supply chain by Greenpeace.

RITE Group chairman Phil Patterson will lead the session, which will address a number of key issues including how the Higg Index can ultimately be applied to the mainstream textile dyeing industry and whether the industry should focus on chemical inputs or the remediation of effluent.

In addition, delegates will debate the merits of zero tolerance compared to a risk-based approach, which sets achievable targets and also focuses on the ‘non-hazardous’ chemicals that currently cause the majority of environmental damage.

Finally, the session will ask if we actually need official initiatives where dyehouse pollution is concerned or whether we can continue using the legislation and best practice that has been established for decades.

Says Patterson: “It is encouraging to see that pollution from dyehouses is finally getting the attention it deserves via a number high profile reports and initiatives which have emerged lately.

“On the one hand, there is the question of whether the environment can tolerate further pollution from the textile industry. On the other you could ask whether the financial cost of zero pollution textiles is viable. Somewhere along the way, something has to give.”

To register to attend the event, follow this link here.


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Brand and Retail Sustainability Advisor
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DyStar is seeking an effective communicator with experience of HSE issues in the textile dyeing and finishing sector. The position involves liaising with leading brands & retailers and representing DyStar's expertise externally to stakeholders such as the ZDHC, SAC and end-users.

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