Raw Materials for Synthetic Fibers & Environmental Impact of Synthetic Fibers
Conventional synthetics utilize raw materials for synthetic fibers deriving from fossil fuels (oil, coal, and natural gas) through chemical processes, most notably polyester, polyamide, acrylic, and elastane. More than 68% of the fibers used in the textile and garment industries are represented by them.
What effects does the substance have on the environment?
According to a recent study by McKinsey and GFA, upstream activities like the manufacturing, preparation, and processing of materials account for over 70% of the greenhouse gas emissions in the fashion business.
While the production of synthetic fibers has a lower environmental impact than that of natural fibers in terms of water use and wastewater generation, conventional synthetics are still a very energy-intensive process due to the high energy requirements and greenhouse gas emissions.
By converting to recycled synthetics, which need between 30 and 50% less energy to create than virgin synthetics, GHG emissions can be greatly decreased. One should be aware that recycled synthetics still rely on materials made from fossil fuels and do not address additional environmental problems brought on by the fibers' inability to decompose.
Due to their utilization of renewable resources and biodegradable nature, bio-based synthetics are a growing category of preferred fiber that offer good alternatives to their virgin and recycled counterparts. It is crucial to remember that composting bio-based synthetics requires suitable industrial composting facilities in order to treat biopolymers safely and effectively via a biodegradable pathway.