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Less water in more denim

See how an EU eco-innovation from the SwitchMed B2B networking achieved significant energy, chemical and water savings in Egypt’s textile industry.
Published on Apr 06, 2018

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Water is an essential resource that is used extensively in the textile and apparel industry. For Egypt, the textile sector plays a major role in shaping the economy and is the second largest industry sector. Having the whole production process from the cultivation of cotton to the making of yarns, fabrics, and readymade apparels creates an additional pressure on the already scarce water resources of the country. Consequently, every saving made in this sector would not only protect the water resources of Egypt, but also improve the ability of Egypt’s textile industry to compete in the global market, where growing demands in eco-friendly products have created additional pressure for companies to accomplish green standards.

As part of the SwitchMed initiative, UNIDO organized in February 2017 a B2B event in Cairo to present eco-innovations from the European Union to Egyptian industries. The event was visited by several companies from Egypt’s textile industry. One of them EMESSA, a garment treatment centre and a producer of producing high-quality denim trousers for the European market, was mainly interested in modern technology that would enable to process garments with limited resource consumption and a reduced chemical and energy input. EMESSA, aims to establish a full sustainable factory for high fashion finishes and already employs 700 workers in a modern equipped, 6,000 m2 factory, in Bani Suef. Acquiring the latest technology that could help to reach the maximum under environmental, social and productivity aspects is a part of the company vision

As a provider of eco-system solutions, Jeanologia, a company with more than 20 years of experience in developing sustainable and efficient technologies for fabric and garment finishing, took part in the event. Jeanologia currently leads the transformation of the textile industry with laser, ozone and E-flow technologies, that help increase productivity, reduce water and energy consumption and eliminate harmful emissions and waste, guaranteeing ZERO contamination. 

During the event, the G2 ozone-washer and the Eflow Nanotechnology from Jeanologia, two technologies that help reduce water consumption and energy by more than 60% and chemicals by about 85%, seized the interest of EMESSA. This technology, combined with laser application, also helps to eliminate the use of toxic processes like bleaching and permanganate and despite initial scepticism, EMESSA became more convinced in the solutions from Jenealogia.  After having realized the substantial savings this technology could give, but also thanks to existing financial instruments which were also presented at the SwitchMed B2B event, EMESSA decided to invest of  0.6 million euro. in Jeanologia technologies.

By April 2018, the smart lab and the first production unit of Laser, Ozone and Eflow machines will be installed at EMESSA. In a second phase, EMESSA plans to invest additional 0.6 million to increase its capacities for manufacturing high-quality products in line with environmental standards. Additionally, Jeanologia’s H2Zero system will be installed, to treat the wastewater discharged by the washing machines, for recycling in the washing processes.  This will help to minimize the water consumption according to the lowest amount possible with today’s technology.

For Egypt, Jeanologia technologies offer a very interesting opportunity to achieve significant energy, chemical and especially water savings. Indeed, in a country like Egypt where the water supply for drinkable water, farming, and all other industries comes mostly from the Nile river, this kind of technology is very important to preserve water resources. Given an Egyptian monthly denim production for local and export market of estimated 15.000.000 pcs a month with an average consumption of 70 litres per garment, the total usage of water is estimated around 1.050.000 m3/month in the traditional way. Using Jeanologia Eflow, laser and ozone technology, this consumption can be reduced by 65%, equalling 675.000 m3/ month or the average water consumption of a city with 9,100 inhabitants in Egypt.

Another very interesting point with the cooperation between SwitchMed, Jeanalogia and EMESSA, is that EMESSA will operate as a showcase for other interested textile companies. This means that the benefits of Jeanologia technologies, as well as the production process and portfolio of EMESSA, can be experienced in the smart lab. Jeanologia technologies are already in use in textile industries located in PORT SAID, CAIRO and ISMAILIA and with the significant savings to be done with this technology, Egypt’s textile sector is likely to follow the example of EMESSA and invest in a solution that not only saves money for the business but also resources for the environment.