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Published on : Jun 03, 2015

Beijing is pushing fines, as global fashion apparel brands push suppliers to improve on recycling techniques and wastewater treatment. 

Apparels manufacturers in China are undergoing pressure from regulatory agencies and high profile luxury brands to deal with wastewater pollution happening from their units. 

The textile industry in China is one of the main polluters in the country. As per estimates by a Chinese government agency, considerable amount of deep groundwater and shallow waters are badly polluted in the North China plains, which is home to a large portion of farmlands in the country.

But change is inevitable. This year, the government announced it to be a criminal act to cause pollution. Violators will face imprisonment as well as hefty fines. Environmental groups in the world are naming and defaming Chinese factories for not treating adequately water used for production. 

Additionally, companies such as Nike Inc. are pushing suppliers to use less water. 

Esquel Group, which is based in Hong Kong, and is one of the top producers of cotton shirts in the world commented it is working towards addressing such problems. About three years ago, manufacturers for brands such as Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren invested about US$7 million on waste water treatment system, which can convert 30,000 tons of water generated at its Gaoming facility on a everyday basis. 

The water is treated into drinkable water and is put back in the dying process. Esquel believes the capability of the technology to make the company more attractive to leading apparel brands which are increasingly working to reduce carbon footprint.