Spas rely substantially on the availability of linen, towels, bathrobes, and blankets that feel good, look good, are cooling or warming, and support the health, comfort, and wellbeing of their guests. This means sourcing high-quality textiles that have been manufactured under environmentally friendly conditions using raw materials from sustainable production.
The textile industry, on the other hand, is one of the most polluting industries in terms of solid waste, synthetic chemicals released into the water, and use of hazardous substances. Each of the manufacturing stages of textile production – making yarn out of fibres, weaving or knitting the fabric, finishing processes including bleaching, dyeing, softening, and the making of garments, carpets, or other household or industrial products – has its own impact on the environment and human health.
The global annual textile production is estimated at 130 billion pounds, requiring 1,074 billion kWh of electricity and between 1.5 to 2.5 trillion gallons of water. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the U.S. textile industry is the 5th largest contributor to CO2 emissions in the United States. In the developing world where manufacturing technology is often antiquated the industry’s contribution to CO2 emissions is even greater.
This GSN toolkit chapter was made possible in part through generous funding from ilike Organic Skin Care and Living Earth Crafts.