China’s Shocking Textile Industry Facts


The Textile Industry is a recognized national precious stone in China. There are cities, like Changshu City (Jiangsu province) and Dongguan City (Guangdong), which concentrate a high number of textile enterprises (2300 and 6500 textile companies respectively). The textile industry is highly labour intensive, thus it benefited greatly from lower labour costs. Usually a basic worker’s monthly wage is $393 (2,500 yuan). For experienced workers and managers, it is between $550 (3,500 yuan) and $787 (5,000 yuan). The world clothing and textile industry (clothing, textiles, footwear and luxury goods) reached almost $2,560 trillion in 2010. The world market for textiles made from organically grown cotton was worth over $5 billion in 2010. Below are statistics of China’s Textile Industry.

  1. In 2010, China’s textile industry processed 41.3 million tons of fiber and accounted for 52-54 percent of the world’s total production.
  2. The Chinese textile industry creates about 3 billion tons of soot each year.
  3. Millions of tons of unused fabric at Chinese mills go to waste each year when dyed the wrong color.
  4. A single mill in China can use 200 tons of water for each ton of fabric it dyes; many rivers run with the colors of the season as the untreated toxic dyes wash off from mills.
  5. In 2010, the textile industry ranked third for overall in Chinese industry for wastewater discharge amount at 2.5 billion tons of wastewater per year.
  6. The textile industry discharges about 300,600 tons of COD and contributes to 8.2 percent of COD pollution in China.
  7. As of February 20th, 2012, the China Pollution Map Database had 6,000 records of textile factories violating environmental regulations, including: discharging wastewater from hidden pipes; discharging untreated pollutants; improper use of wastewater treatment facilities; exceeding total pollutant discharge allowed; and using production facilities that were shut down by the authorities for various reasons.
  8. After preliminary investigations into links between well-known apparel brands and textile manufacturers with environmental violations, a group of five organizations sent letters to the CEOs of 48 companies. Respondents included Nike, Esquel, Walmart, H&M Levi’s, Adidas, and Burberry – all who have now started to take proactive measures and have carried out inquiries and pushed suppliers to take corrective actions.

via Treehugger and ceibs