This page was printed from

Sustainability: too much of a good thing?

My Take | December 12, 2022 | By: Janet Preus

For many of us who live in the U.S., the Thanksgiving holiday in November is a reason to bring folks together around the table and eat a ridiculous amount of food. Because we do this so seldom (maybe only on Thanksgiving), we enjoy it. The analogy may be a bit of a stretch, but you might also feel like you’ve consumed a lot of information on sustainability lately, and you need to “eat light” for a bit. 

That’s understandable. Even the stories that are not about sustainability often deal with it peripherally. Most press releases that I get from companies around the world will at least mention how their new product, new facility, new partnership or other business activity will address the company’s sustainability goals. That was not always true, and I take it as a good sign that’s worth repeating, even if it feels like too much of a good thing. 

Might I suggest dealing with this banquet of information in a more easily digestible amount? Dr. Andrew Dent’s approach seems sensible. In a previous feature on this site, Dent urged companies to choose a “North Star,” which provides a means to focus the company’s efforts with a clear and unwavering principle guiding its sustainability goals. In our most recent feature by Dr. Seshadri Ramkumar, “Driving sustainability in advanced textiles,” he discusses the importance of an industry-wide, long-term commitment to taking action regarding sustainability, especially in light of COP-27 call to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees C. 

These are just two of the many voices in and outside of the textile industry, and among the many stories that we have done focusing on sustainability issues, or reporting on specific products, processes and initiatives that support a more sustainable future. So, maybe you’re thinking, “Ok, I get it. But enough for now. 

The trouble is, we just don’t have a choice. In fact, sustainability has gone beyond being its own issue into practices to be folded into our daily lives. We eat every day, but we don’t eat a Thanksgiving dinner every day. One can only eat—and enjoy—so much food. 

So, if you feel like you’re sitting at a table laden with food that must be consumed by “tomorrow,” and it’s just too much, push your chair back and try to find one thing on that table that you can eat—and want to eat—right now. Sorry for the mixed metaphor, but whatever you see on that “table” may be your “North Star,” and it’s a great way to begin, or continue on, your sustainability journey. 

Janet Preus is senior editor of Textile Technology Source. She can be reached at

Share this Story