What are we supposed to understand the concept of “sustainability in textile”?

How we define something as sustainable? What turns something into sustainable? Have you ever thought whether it is related to the materials which are used to form it or it is beyond that?


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This is an article to dig into meanings to understand what to do instead of following marketing campaigns.

As professionals in textile business, we have heard the concept of “sustainability” more than we have ever heard for a few years. Lots of  articles, definitions, comments, and shares appear on internet and social media about “sustainability in textile,  sustainability itself and sustainable products” and their sub-brands such as “zero-waste, eco-friendly, green product” and lots of new related words.


What is Sustainability?

Let’s breakdown a bit,

We’ll start the topic by briefly discussing each word’s root and definition. But  keep in mind that our goal is to use the distinctions as a tool, not to get caught up in a debate over etymology.

Sus  ( sub- (Latin))

– tain ( taneo (Latin))

– able ( habere (Latin))

– ity

So, the definitions and roots. We start with  the verb ‘sustain’. In the period of time c.1300, it is used to mean ” give support to”; from the stem of Old French  ‘sostenir” which means  ”hold up, bear; suffer, endure”; in Latin dictionary ,the word  ‘susteinere’ gives the meaning of  “furnish with means of support; bear, undergo,” from assimilated form of sub “up from below” (see sub-) + tenere “to hold”, from PIE root *ten- “to stretch”. Meaning to continue, to keep up ( an action, etc.) is from early period of c.1400. Sense of “endure without failing or yielding”.

Piano players and guitar players probably know the meaning but you can also think of the related words like “sustained” and “sustaining” or a modern way  ” survived “.

And, when it comes to make the verb (‘sustain’)into adjective, we use  the suffix  -able, “having sufficient power or means,” in the early 14c., from Old French (h)able means “capable; fitting, suitable; agile, nimble” (14c.), from Latin habilem, habilis “easily handled, apt,” verbal adjective from habere “to hold” (from PIE root *ghabh- “to give or receive”).
“Easy to be held,” hence “fit for a purpose.” The silent h- was dropped in English and resisted academic attempts to restore it 16c.-17c. (see H), but some derivatives (such as habiliment, habilitate) acquired it via French.




In modern definition by today, sustainability is; the quality of being able to continue over a period of time, and for environmental purpose; the quality of causing little or no damage to the environment and therefore able to continue for a long time.

In business language; sustainability related to; the idea that goods and services should be produced in ways that do not use resources that cannot be replaced and that do not damage the environment.
Also, sustainability means; the ability to continue at a particular level for a period of time, according to Cambridge.




And, What does it mean in textile?

First of all, we should have a look at the story then we are going to focus on the evoluation of textile to determine ref-points and bench-marks that will let us  understand “where we are now, where we  are supposed to be and where we will be in the future. ”

Textile has been used since the beginning of civilization even before. Textile is a tool that satisfies with the comfort of being covered up, encourages human to adopt in universal laws, nature and supports human to develop themselves as a survivor. Textile is a tool like fire that was invented long time ago.


Further read suggestion.

Evoluation of textile, where was the breaking point and #movethedate


Textile can tie, can cover, can handle the wind to move the ships, and cut the air to create balance against relativity. Textile can influence, can reflect a profession, a status and can be the self-reflection of someone that can be art and fashion.

While human civilization rising, textile has extended the areas of usage and increased the demand, especially when it comes to fashion. On the parallel side, textile has increased the supply with developments of machineries, electricity, computers and has developed own Technologies. As people asked, textile has answered wisely.

Now, textile is the one  of the mainstreams  and one of the biggest industries on Earth that creates billions of dollars.



“The global textile market size was valued at USD 961.5 billion in 2019 and is estimated to exhibit a CAGR of 4.3% from 2020 to 2027 owing to the increased demand for apparels, especially in developing countries such as China, India, Mexico, and Bangladesh. Furthermore, increasing disposable income and rapid urbanization has led to a rise in the number of supermarkets and retail stores, thereby driving the overall market growth. ”




And now, “ Sustainability in Textile ” means

Finally, we put everything together

To adabt yourself and your business for the future of textile while being responsible to your environment  people, nature, planet.

Is your business sustainable ? or is textile business sustainable with todays production methods? are you able to be a survivor?


Next Article is,

How to become a chain in sustainable fashion?





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