“The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress.”
The textile business has seen a sea of change since its inception. From hand-spun and hand-woven looms to sophisticated mills and now digital printing, much has shifted over the years.
Textiles draw inspiration from the world of fashion and design and also bring back forgotten symbols of historical value at the fore. With a diverse collection of cotton, pashmina, cashmere, wool and other traditional fabrics, India sends a soft splash of colour to the world. As the technological transformation is moving at a rapid pace, there is an extraordinary demand for faster sampling, increasing print speeds, efficiency, flexibility and design. Perhaps, that’s where arises the need for true supply chain sustainability in the digital printing marketplace.
A while back, organic products were just starting to be recognised and being considered among newer trends. But now things have shuffled and the environmental hazards have made people realise the desperate urge for eco-conscience while creating, selling and purchasing products in the market. However, both sides of the coin need to be analysed before choosing the style of prints. The consumer needs to weigh the pros and cons of both organic as well as mechanised prints in terms of sustainability.
Since the traditional processes used a large amount of water and electricity and even led to a huge outlet of waste material, digital textile printing seems to be much more viable with a lot less screen printing requirement. Not only is it more cost effective, but it also offers a golden opportunity to reduce waste and improve chemical and environmental sustainability. Moreover, the ink jet method of printing colourants onto the fabric is versatile, fast, efficient and ecological.
The road ahead is not easy. The biggest challenge lies in educating both, the consumer as well as the buyer to truly understand the positive social, economic and environmental impact of manufacturing. Brands that realise that developing inks and software that cater to a greener planet is the key to maximize the efficiency of our devices certainly have a notch over the old-fashioned ones. Recycling is a major part of the process and it also demands quite a huge amount of energy, water and manpower. The future lies in addressing these issues and moving ahead towards environmental-friendly products.