chapter  34
6 Pages

Techniques for Treating Prewashed Denim Laundry Wastewaters

The recent consumer demand for fashions made from prewashed denim, particularly "stone washed" and "ice washed" denim, has created a booming prewash industry and an unexpected wastewater problem of significant proportion. Many major denim apparel companies prewash a portion of their sewn product and exercise responsible waste management practices. However, the demand for prewashed fashion has outpaced the major companies' prewash capabilities and a satellite industry of contract washers has emerged. Due to the tremendous consumer demand for prewashed denim fashions, prewashing has become highly profitable. This profitability has spawned dozens, if not hundreds, of small contract laundries, many of which are without the corporate sophistication to recognize the impact of prewashing on local wastewater treatment plants nor the corporate responsibility to plan for and implement wastewater management.