The textile industry is responsible for one-fifth of global water pollution. Water is widely used throughout textile processing activities such as bleaching, dyeing, and finishing.
The textile industry is under the environmental spotlight which most clearly points to the use of industrial water, which is currently responsible for 10% of all industrial freshwater and 20% of global wastewater pollution.
However, recently consumers are increasing their desire to help the environment by buying sustainable products and brands. Many of the world’s largest apparel brands are rapidly advancing in establishing their environmental credentials and tackling potential reputation damage.
They would be very well aware of research like McKinsey that 63% of consumers consider promoting a brand’s sustainability as an important purchasing factor.
Now, chemical suppliers play a major role in the production of more sustainable textiles as most of the pollution is produced from waste chemicals. Suppliers can use active but non-storage chemicals to prevent further accumulation of chemicals and wastes in the environment, using advances in chemical design and green chemistry.
But it requires more R&D and investment that incurs higher costs and pricing is an important consideration in the textile business. Also, the global pandemic has given chemical suppliers a difficult time raising raw material prices and other charges. However, suppliers worldwide now prefer sustainability and quality as they have more competitive advantages than price.
Renowned chemical suppliers such as TANATEX Chemicals, owned by Transfar Chemicals, have developed a series of products that will reduce water consumption by up to 40%.
TANATEX Chemicals is an international company that develops, manufactures and sells chemicals for the textile industry. It has been leading innovative solutions for textile processing for almost 60 years.
In a recent interview with Textile Today, Jose Gnalian, Regional Director of TANATEX and Transfar Chemicals in both Bangladesh and Pakistan shared insights about the innovation of chemical products of related companies and how these sustainable chemicals can be used for the benefit of Bangladesh textile industry.
Textile Today: How did TANATEX Chemicals overcome the global pandemic crisis and what is the status of your current business globally?
Jose Gnalian: TANATEX Chemicals’ journey in Bangladesh started many years ago. Due to the large potential and importance of the Bangladesh textile industry in the world, we increased our presence and focus on this market in 2020, just after the global pandemic started.
During the pandemic, shipments were sometimes difficult to manage. It was hard to organize raw materials due to the closure of many factories. However, we were also concerned about the production. TANATEX has taken several health and safety measures such as introducing our home office policy in order to keep the business going.
Regarding current business status – we saw the business growing by the end of year 2021. Travel restrictions relaxed and we were able to visit customers frequently to introduce sustainable and problem solving products. However, the industry now is facing the problem of competitive pricing.
Prices of raw materials, freight charges and energy are rising due to the effects of the pandemic and the war in Ukraine. Today however, we are competing with quality, not with the price, to maintain competition.
Textile Today: Due to change in end users’ behaviour, brands are now more focused about using sustainable raw materials. It’s also the time demand to use less hazardous and energy efficient sustainable raw materials. In this context, what kind of sustainable solution is TANATEX proving for the textile industry?
Jose Gnalian: TANATEX has been working on sustainability since the beginning. We are building products based on biodegradable capabilities. Our R&D center in the Netherlands uses only chemical components, which conform with the EU regulations. We recently introduced our water saving system called TANADYE for dyeing processes.
TANATEX invested much effort into creating this solution in order to improve the water crisis we are currently in. TANADYE® is able to save up to 40% water, 40% energy and 30% processing time by optimizing the traditional two-bath dyeing method into a one-bath washing and dyeing step.
Pere Cirera Cardus: The textile business process largely depends on the buyer’s decision. Buyers were paying more attention to price and lead time. Sustainability is a recent trend for buyers but has proven it is here to stay.
Therefore, we see buyers are now taking the initiative to use sustainable products. But it will take more time and research for them to find their way within sustainability. TANATEX is working hard to meet the demand for sustainable chemicals for the textile industry.
Textile Today: Is it possible to maintain environmental and economic sustainability even after the textile industry uses a lot of hazardous chemicals?
Jose Gnalian: It is possible to maintain sustainability in both environmental and economic fields through proper R&D. TANATEX is developing more tailor made and higher concentrated products to reduce water consumption.
So the manufacturer can use the chemicals with less quantity or weight so that it can reduce the freight charge and other transport cost. We also support customers to minimize the steps of the textile processing to reduce the production time, thus reducing energy and water consumption.
Textile Today: I think, TANATEX alliance with Transfar Chemicals was a big decision for the company’s business. What is the significant impact you noticed after this alliance?
Jose Gnalian: Our product range has now been further expanded through joining Transfar chemicals. Transfar Chemical has more than 2000 products and TANATEX has about 1000 products. Together we have a huge range of products, which we can combine. Furthermore, product selection will be easier because it will be a one-stop solution.
Textile Today: How do you see the market potential of Bangladesh in the world in the field of the chemical supply business?
Jose Gnalian: TANATEX has recently started its focus on Bangladesh and so far we have seen it grow steadily. Bangladesh is the second-largest exporter of RMG in the world and the industry needs fabric and chemicals for processing. So for global chemical suppliers, the textile industry in Bangladesh is a high priority.
Textile Today: Does TANATEX and Transfar Chemicals have plans to set up a manufacturing hub in Bangladesh?
Jose Gnalian: It is not fixed yet but both companies have discussed and planned to start a production plant in Bangladesh. However, Transfar already has investments in Turkey and Pakistan. Eventually, the manufacturing hub will be created but it will take time.