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Sustainable Sourcing Practices for Elastic Thread Production

Producing tens and tons of rubber-based products requires massive amounts of raw materials. Manufacturers everywhere must be able to source their raw materials as efficiently as possible. With the public’s rising interest in eco-friendly products and practices, it is important that companies also start looking into alternative, more sustainable ways of sourcing their materials.

The textile industry, in particular, faces significant pressure to adopt more sustainable practices, especially those that produce rubber-based elastic products. Since the conception of vulcanization, rubber has become indispensable to fashion, health, sports, automotive, and industrial production.

Even so, many products still use a mix of natural and synthetic rubber to produce optimal resilience. Synthetic rubber is made from petroleum byproducts like styrene, butadiene, ethylene, and many more. Because it is man-made, synthetic rubber requires lots of oil, natural gas, and energy to produce. Scientists estimate that the production of synthetic rubber can generate more than 2.5 tons of CO2 emissions per year.

That being said, rubber remains a staple material for many industries and thus far, no other new materials have emerged to replace its functionality. So, are there any other alternatives to sustainably produce elastic threads?

Rubber tree with a small bowl attached to its side to collect sap
jcomp / Freepik

Going Natural with Sustainable Sourcing & Production

Sustainable sourcing practices involve obtaining raw materials in a way that considers the environmental, social, and economic impacts of production. Since it was first discovered, natural rubber has always been a renewable and biodegradable material. Obtaining natural sap does not require meticulous machinery that exhausts energy, and materials, and harms the ecosystem.

The WWF suggests re-growing rubber trees without clearing natural forests to increase the likelihood of sustainable sourcing. By doing so, fauna that are native to the forests will not face the risk of losing their homes. Letting rubber trees grow in natural forests also has the potential to increase biodiversity and reduce carbon emissions. That way, not only are we able to continue rubber production, but also save the natural habitat of elephants, tigers, and many other endangered species at the same time.

White-colored rubber thread strip photographed on top of a wodden table

The production of elastic thread can be energy-intensive. Implementing energy-efficient practices helps reduce the carbon footprint of the manufacturing process. This includes using renewable energy sources, optimizing production processes to minimize energy consumption, and investing in energy-efficient machinery.

In line with the production needs, companies will also need to readjust how water is used. Reducing water usage by optimizing production processes or recycling wastewater will help reduce pollution and conserve resources. Companies everywhere can also implement water treatment systems that ensure wastewater is properly discharged and disposed of.

Rubber is a product that involves various chemicals mixed in to strengthen and stretch its properties. So it’s not that surprising that producing elastic threads requires a mix of chemicals that may potentially disturb the balance of nature. Using non-toxic and biodegradable materials can have a positive impact on the environment as well as push companies to implement a proper chemical management system at their disposal.

As technology advances and consumer awareness grows, the textile industry has a vital role in fostering a more sustainable future through responsible sourcing and production practices. For more information on sustainable manufacturing efforts to create long-lasting rubber threads, visit Omnimax by PT Cilatexindo Graha Alam (


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