Pollution in the Chemical Dye Industry

Sustainable fashion academic Kate Fletcher's book 'Sustainable Fashion and Textiles: Design Journeys' has a section on dyeing in the fashion industry, the pollution it causes and suggesting sustainable alternatives. The table below discusses the types of pollution associated with dyeing certain fibres.

Fletcher, K. (2008)  Types of pollution associated with dyeing a range of fibres.  p52.

Fletcher, K. (2008) Types of pollution associated with dyeing a range of fibres. p52.

She discusses developments in reduction of effluent pollution, such as the exhaustion of dye baths, and replacing the use of chrome dyes for reactive dyes. On natural dyes, Fletcher states that:

"natural dye technology...has a particular cachet and quality that works well in small-scale or specialist production." (2008, p54)

These few pages have proved an excellent resource, backing up earlier research on chemical dye pollution from Greenpeace.



  • Fletcher, K. (2008) Sustainable Fashion and Textiles: Design Journeys. London: Earthscan.