Fashion and Natural Resources

A Glimpse of Saudi Arabia’s Foremost Cultural and Environmental Initiatives

Saudi Arabia’s Culture Ministry recently launched projects that aim to work toward the sustainable development of the country’s thriving fashion industry. The launch came at the heels of the textile industry’s sustainability initiatives to lessen the impact of its increasing water consumption. After all, boosting the country’s fashion industry will also lead to increased textile production, which in a water-scarce country like Saudi Arabia cab lead to serious problems.

About The Ministry of Culture’s “Fashion Futures” Initiatives

Through the Commission of Fashion of the Ministry of Culture, “Fashion Futures” launched in June 17, 2021 starting with a flagship event captioned as “Fashion Futures Live: Moving Towards Sustainability, Diversity and Innovation” led by Saudi Arabia’s US ambassador, Princess Reema Bint Bandar.

“Fashion Futures” features a series of virtual conferences streamed online, whilst broadcasted simultaneously from New York and Riyadh. Individual participants can take part via an interactive platform when viewing the presentations of fashion industry experts. The speakers share their experiences and practical knowledge in reducing water consumption and pollution using sustainable solutions.


Solving the Water Consumption and Pollution Issues of Saudi’s Textile Industry

In 2019, Saudi Arabia’s textile industry took significant steps toward achieving sustainable water consumption and management. The industry was under regulatory pressure to make significant moves to improve water management, leading to sustainable use of water not only in terms of efficiency in textile processing; but also for maintaining public health and support demanded by other Saudi industries and citizens.

As it is, the textile industry’s multiple manufacturing processes are water-intensive; from sizing and desizing to mercerizing, scrubbing, bleaching, printing and up to finishing.

Water consumption is only part of the issues raised against the industry. Textile processing generates wastewater containing a broad range of water pollutants that contaminate external water sources. The amount of water consumption and type of pollutant depend on the type of textile being processed in relation to the technologies in use, as well as the fibers and chemicals involved in the processing.

Although water is highly accessible in Saudi Arabia, including potable water, overconsumption is of major concern. Lack of renewable source of water is also a major issue as groundwater and sea water, the two major sources are rapidly diminishing. As an alternative source, open water tanks are placed on rooftops as a means to capture rainwater. However, this method has also become a public health issue.

In Jeddah, building residents have been asking the city government to impose an ordinance that will require landlords to clean the water tanks that serve as source of their tap water. Landlords should hire a reliable شركة تنظيف خزانات بجدة
(tank cleaning company in Jeddah) that has the capability and the proper cleaning tools to remove sludge, dead insects, parasites and all sorts of impurities inside the tank, as they tend to come out of residential water systems.