Textile Ecology and Ecological Textiles

textile ecology

1. Textile Ecology and Ecological Textiles

Textile Ecology is a science that studies the interaction and connection between organisms and the environment in which they live. The environment is the carrier for the organism to carry out all life activities. “Environment” includes physical environment (temperature, water, sunlight, etc.) and ecological environment (relative to organisms, any influence from other organisms). The environment is relativity, it is meaningless to talk about the environment away from the subject, and the general environment refers to the environment centered on people, which is the so-called environment surrounding people. Traditional ecology is a science that studies the relationship between organisms and organisms, organisms and the environment above the level of individual organisms (individuals, populations, communities, ecosystems). It is one of the basic disciplines of biology, and at the same time, it is the only science that expands the research object beyond living organisms. People apply the principles of ecology to social production practices, forming applied ecology such as agricultural ecology, urban ecology, industrial ecology, landscape ecology, pollution ecology, etc., to study and guide the problems that arise in social production practices, and pursue The harmonious development of human society and natural ecological system seeks the unity of economic benefits, ecological benefits and social benefits, and finally realizes the sustainable development of human society. Textile ecology, also known as ecological textiles, belongs to the category of applied ecology. It mainly studies the relationship between textiles and human beings, textile production and human beings and the environment, textiles and the environment. It includes three parts: textile production ecology, textile consumption ecology and textile processing ecology. In other words, textile ecology is a science that studies the impact of textiles on humans and the natural environment during the entire process of production, consumption, and abandonment. It is a comprehensive subject, in addition to traditional physics, chemistry, technology, etc., it also involves biology, nano-science, systems engineering, information technology, sociology and economics.

(1) Textile production ecology Textile production ecology studies the impact of textile production processes on humans and the environment, as well as detection techniques and control methods, which include labor safety, consumption of materials, water and energy, sewage and garbage treatment, and dust and noise pollution. That is, in the whole process from fiber planting, breeding, production to product processing, no harmful substances are discharged into the air, soil and water, no pollution to the environment, and no harmful substances remain on the textiles to cause harm to consumers.

(2) Textile consumption ecology Textile consumption ecology studies the impact of textiles on the environment during use (including cleaning, cleaning and maintenance) and testing methods, and points out the direction for the development and production of textiles; the focus is on studying which substances in textiles Harmful to the human body, how to detect the content of these substances, and how to control the content in order to not cause harm to the human body, so as to formulate scientific regulations and implementation standards; study the process of wearing and using textiles, textile materials and various Dyeing and chemical additives may cause damage to consumers’ health or the environment, such as safety issues and consumer psychology, and guide consumers to correctly understand and identify ecological textiles.

(3) Textile processing ecology Textile processing ecology studies the impact of waste textiles on the ecological environment, its detection technology and control methods, and the recycling and treatment of textiles. That is, from the perspective of processing ecology, research on the recycling and pollution-free treatment methods and technologies of waste textiles. Control textiles that can be recycled and degraded naturally, and do not release toxic and harmful substances in the waste treatment.

2. Ecological textiles

The so-called ecological textiles refer to products that meet the requirements of specific standards starting from the requirements of textile ecology. That is, textiles that are harmless to the environment or human health from the acquisition of raw materials to the entire process of production, sales, use and disposal. The current identification standards of ecological textiles have the following two views.

(1) One point of view is the full ecological concept represented by the European “Eco-1abe. According to this standard, the fibers used in ecological textiles are not polluted during the growth or production process, and will not pollute the environment. The raw materials used in ecological textiles are used Renewable resources or usable waste will not cause the imbalance of ecological balance and the development of predatory resources; ecological textiles can be recycled and reused after losing their use value or can be degraded and digested under natural conditions; ecological textiles should be used during use. It is harmless to the human body and even has certain health care functions. This is the concept of ecological textiles in a broad sense.

(2) One point of view is environmental protection jointly established by 15 well-known textile research and testing institutions including Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Japan. The limited ecological concept represented by the Textile Research and Testing Association (Oeko-Tex) believes that the ultimate goal of ecological textiles is not to cause harm to human health when used, and advocates reasonable restrictions on harmful substances on textiles and establish corresponding The quality control system is the concept of ecological textiles in a narrow sense, that is, textiles that have been tested to contain no substances harmful to human health and have corresponding signs under the existing scientific knowledge. The first point of view is ecological in the true sense. Textiles, but the current level of science and technology is still difficult to fully realize. The second point of view starts from the actual conditions and development level, and can be achieved only by appropriate transformation and improvement of existing technical equipment and production processes. January 2000 On the 27th, the State Environmental Protection Administration approved and started to implement the “Ecological Textiles” standard. Table 1-1 is the important international regulations and standards related to the ecological safety requirements of textiles.

Important international regulations and standards related to textile-related ecological safety requirements

Scope of application The name of the regulations stipulates the scope of application of regions, items and complete exclusions, partial exclusions and exemptions. European Commission ACH Regulations International Textile Ecology Oeko-Tex o Standard 100 Various Hazardous Substances Research and Testing Association Oeko-Tex o Standard Textile Fiber, The production process, chemicals, products European Commission Eco-lab’s sword fabric leather and finished clothing products include semi-finished textiles and non-young fabrics (Tianxiang Group) hazardous dyes and auxiliaries that make up the various processing stages of these Intertek Testing Intertek finished products. German Food and Consumer Goods Act, Japan’s Ministry of International Trade and Industry Decree No. 112, Formaldehyde, Japan’s Hazardous Substances Houseware Control Act, Germany, Germany, German Dangerous Goods Act, Arsenic, Antimony, Lead, Zinc, Cadmium, Danish Ministry of Environmental Protection Decree No. 472, Nickel, Denmark REACH , Namely “Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of chemicals” (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of chemicals) regulations. It is the EU’s regulation on preventive management of all chemicals entering its market. It was officially implemented on June 1, 2007. REACH regulations stipulate that all chemical substances with an annual output or import volume of more than 1t need to be registered, and chemical substances with an annual output or import volume of more than 10t should also submit a chemical safety report. Authorize the production and import of chemical substances that have certain hazardous properties and attract people’s attention, including CMR (carcinogenic, mutagenic and bio-toxic substances), PBT (persistence, bioaccumulation and toxic chemical substances), vPvB (high persistence, high bioaccumulation of chemical substances, etc.). If it is considered that the manufacturing, placing on the market, or use of a certain substance or its configuration products, the risk to human health and the environment cannot be fully controlled, and its production or import in the EU will be restricted.

3. Evaluation indicators of textile ecology

The production and consumption of textiles is a systematic process, including the planting or production of textile fibers → textile production and processing → bleaching and dyeing, printing, finishing → clothing production and processing → consumption and abandonment. It is required that every link must meet the requirements of ecological and environmental protection, that is, the renewability and reusability of textile raw materials; the textile production and processing process does not pollute the environment; the textiles are not harmful to the environment and the human body during wearing and use; After being discarded, textiles can be degraded naturally in the environment, and will not cause secondary pollution to the environment. It has the characteristics of “recyclable, low pollution and energy saving”.

The ecological evaluation of textiles is a comprehensive evaluation project that takes the entire life cycle of textiles as a time period. It includes the following five aspects of evaluation indicators.

(1) Whether the human health of producers and consumers of vital textiles (including raw materials) is endangered; whether the lives of animals, plants and microorganisms, including terrestrial and aquatic organisms, are affected or threatened.

(2) Environmental attributes: Whether the environment is polluted during the entire life cycle of textiles and whether the ecological environment is damaged.

environmental damage

(3) Energy attributes: the type of energy and cleanliness of energy in the textile production process, the proportion of renewable energy (such as the recycling of boiler water), the energy consumption and utilization rate, and the energy consumption of product recovery and processing.

(4) Resource attributes: material consumption, equipment maintenance and depreciation costs, production quotas, wages and benefits information resource costs, etc. in the textile production process.

(5) Economic attributes: Mainly consider the design costs, production costs, use costs, and product waste gas recovery costs caused by product environmental pollution. According to the above evaluation indicators, the ecological grade of textiles can be qualitatively given, namely, full ecological textiles, ecological textiles, sub-ecological textiles, and inferior ecological textiles. Full ecological textiles means that the above five indicators are superior to the technical requirements of relevant national (or international) regulations and the limit values ​​of various standards; ecological textiles means that the above five indicators meet the relevant national (or international) regulations The technical requirements and the limit values ​​of various standards; inferior ecological textiles, that is, the above five indicators basically (95%) meet the technical requirements of relevant national (or international) laws and regulations and the limit values ​​of various standards; inferior ecological textiles are The above five indicators are close to (90%) reaching the technical requirements of relevant national (or international) laws and regulations and the limit values ​​of various standards, and there are no items that seriously endanger human health and seriously pollute the environment.

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