A bi-monthly from NAPM
WHAT IS THE “POWER” OF YOUR CLOTHES?
Did you know that the clothes we wear are also polluting our rivers, destroying crops, making dead zones in the seas and most importantly, increasing global warming?
How is this happening?
Clothes and other textiles can affect the environment to varying degrees throughout their life cycles. Before textiles reach the consumer, they have gone through many different chemical processes. They may be treated with chemicals to dye them, make them more hardwearing or wrinkle-resistant, or less flammable. Some flame retardants that are used in certain textiles contain organic bromine compounds that break down very slowly in the environment, hence last much longer.
Some of these chemicals are carcinogenic or may cause harm to children even before birth. Others may trigger allergic reactions in some people.
All textiles processes have an impact on the environment. The industry uses large amounts of natural resources such as water, while many operations use chemicals and solvents. All companies use energy, produce solid waste, discharge effluent and emit dust, and toxic gases into the atmosphere.
The clothes we wear like everything else we use today in the modern day – use power or electricity and also energy – in the making of the thread / yarn, the making of the cloth, packaging, marketing, merchandising until it comes to you.
That would mean, use of gas and coal for making electricity to run the machines, making plastic for packaging and use of petrol for transportation; which in turn means more coal mining, oil drilling, more thermal power plants or nuclear power plants or large dams to produce more “power” or electricity and to have more “power” for transportation.
And what does all this mean? Increase in Green house Gases and Global Warming.
The greatest problem that each and every one of us is facing today is Global Warming.
The planet is in peril – the green house gases Carbon dioxide and Methane among others are increasing day by day, trapping the sun’s heat on the earth. Thus, the earth is warming up. Our glaciers are melting and if this goes on unchecked very soon, i.e., within the next twenty years or so, our perennial rivers like Ganga, Brahmaputra will dry out. The sea levels are already rising and will rise further submerging the coastal areas. In many parts of India and even in Andhra Pradesh, coastal villages have started to disappear under the sea. Not just this, flash floods have increased and as we saw last year, lakhs of acres of crops were lost under water. If this continues we will be facing a water and food crisis. And future wars will be fought for water and the day may not be far when we see people killing each other for a morsel of food.
So, is there a way out?
Yes, there is – Reducing our carbon foot prints – using low energy alternatives – Handloom and Khadi.
While Handloom clothes use mill made yarn, the rest of the process is entirely hand made, Khadi is a totally hand made cloth – right from spinning of the yarn to production of the cloth. Thus, low energy or no energy is used in this entire process.
Besides being eco-friendly, these clothes generate employment. Handloom is one of the three largest Employment generating sectors in India along with agriculture and retail. There is a total of 3 crore people dependent on Handloom sector.
Indian Handloom fabrics, were extremely famous the world over and were considered the best fabrics the world ever produced. However, today, Handloom is not valued by our own people. The market for Handloom is shrinking, forcing many skilled craftsmen and women to seek labour work elsewhere and some others, unable to bear the poverty are committing suicides. So, if we switch our choice to Handloom and Khadi, not only do we save these lives, but we can encourage more people to take up this craft.
We, the consumers, have the “power” to change the situation – to better their lives and to protect our environment and thus, our own Future. By using low energy Handloom and Khadi, we reduce the need to produce more Electricity, meaning, we need not set up more Power projects, need not displace any more people, need not disturb our environment, nor destroy people’s lives.
Make a Choice Today Use your “Power” to Save lives & Save our future. USE HANDLOOM & KHADI
Issued in Public Interest
National Alliance of People’s Movements (AP Chapter)
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