Every true business starts with an idea. This idea is usually driven by innate feeling to change the things from how they are and finding a solution. This idea could be about improving a system, to automate a process, to find a cure to a disease, to alleviate the poverty, to provide a new means of transportation or to save our environment from pollution and the list goes on.
I am yet to meet a successful business owner who started his/her business to make money only and succeeded in the long run. Though I am certain that money can be one of the drivers for many entrepreneurs working day-in and day-out. It goes the same for me too up to some extent. But, the real factor that drives entrepreneurs to take the risk and develop something extraordinary is something else. It is their passion to bring about a positive change.
We live in a world where, with the help of our creative approach, commercial know-how and the 'D' (Desire) factor, we can achieve our dream relatively faster, that's what the technology and new wave of startup dynamism has done for us. But even with all the resources at our disposal, there is a spark that needs to happen. There is a moment in every entrepreneur's life when he/she says, that's it, I will take that step, I will change this.
Something similar happened to me when I was working with manufacturers in India. Being involved in the textiles industry reveals its true horrific side. My now-or-never moment came when one day at a dyeing unit, I saw these workers drenched in synthetic dyes told me that they and their family often fall sick because of these dyes and suffer from respiratory problems that have even proved fatal for many. In Delhi, there are dyeing units where workers have even lost their fingers because of these synthetic dyes.
I went back to my home and started reading about disasters being caused by these synthetic dyes. It blew my mind how these dyes are killing our environment, aquatic life and lives of thousands of workers in the dyeing units all across India and other countries like China. Some of the data I found shocked me to my bones.
- In India alone, the textile industry uses 425,000,000 gallons of water daily and approximately 500 gallons of water are used in the production of just one pair of jeans.
- The World Bank estimates that 17 to 20 per cent of industrial water pollution comes from textile dyeing and treatment.
- In China, estimates say 90 per cent of the local groundwater is polluted and, according to the World Bank, 72 toxic chemicals in the water supply are from textile dyeing.
- Azo dyes, which account for 60 to 70 per cent of all dyes in the industry, are responsible for setting high-intensity hues, poppy reds in particular. But when broken down and metabolized, they are a known carcinogenic.
- Mills can use up to 200 tons of water per ton of dyed fabric, which in turn only produces about 1400 pieces of clothing.
- At best, contact with dyed synthetics triggers allergic reactions, skin irritation, and rashes. At worst, it increases the risk of cancer.
There is a lot more information and data on the internet that one can look for. For me, this was the self-realisation that made me rethink what I am doing. I could not believe that I was the part of the same industry that is destroying the lives of thousands of workers and causing havoc on our planet. This one realisation set me on the path of searching for better alternative and boy you know how I found one. I will write about my journey ahead on finding the alternative dyeing method in my next article.
My aim here for writing this article was to iterate the fact that you have to find your driving force to get up every day to work for your dream day after day and year after year continuously pulling yourself up and for that, you will need your D-factor strong enough to keep driving you every single day.