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Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 412; doi:10.3390/su9030412

Decomposing the Decoupling of Water Consumption and Economic Growth in China’s Textile Industry

1,2,* , 3
,
1
,
3,4
and
2,5,*
1
School of Economics and Management, Zhejiang Sci-Tech University, Hangzhou 310018, China
2
Ecological Civilization Research Center of Zhejiang Province, Zhejiang Sci-Tech University, Hangzhou 310018, China
3
Fashion Institute, Zhejiang Sci-Tech University, Hangzhou 310018, China
4
Engineering Research Center of Clothing of Zhejiang Province, Zhejiang Sci-Tech University, Hangzhou 310018, China
5
School of Business, Ningbo University, Ningbo 315211, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Giuseppe Ioppolo
Received: 21 October 2016 / Accepted: 6 March 2017 / Published: 9 March 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Abstract

Unprecedented economic achievement in China’s textile industry (TI) has occurred along with rising water consumption. The goal of industrial sustainable development requires the decoupling of economic growth from resource consumption. This paper examines the relationship between water consumption and economic growth, and the internal influence mechanism of China’s TI and its three sub-sectors: the manufacture of textiles (MT) sector, the Manufacture of Textile Wearing Apparel, Footwear, and Caps (MTWA) sector, and the manufacture of chemical fibers (MCF) sector. A decoupling analysis was performed and the Laspeyres decomposition method was applied to the period from 2001 to 2014. We showed that six of the fourteen years analyzed (2003, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2011, and 2013) exhibited a strong decoupling effect and three of the fourteen years (2005, 2007, and 2010) exhibited a weak decoupling effect. Overall, China’s TI experienced a good decoupling between economic growth and water consumption from 2002 to 2014. For the three sub-sectors, the MTWA sector experienced a more significant positive decoupling than the MT and MCF sectors. The decomposition results confirm that the industrial scale factor is the most important driving force of China’s TI water consumption increase, while the water efficiency factor is the most important inhibiting force. The industrial structure adjustment does not significantly affect water consumption. The industrial scale and water use efficiency factors are also the main determinants of change in water consumption for the three sub-sectors. View Full-Text
Keywords: textile industry; water consumption; economic growth; decoupling; decomposition textile industry; water consumption; economic growth; decoupling; decomposition
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Li, Y.; Luo, Y.; Wang, Y.; Wang, L.; Shen, M. Decomposing the Decoupling of Water Consumption and Economic Growth in China’s Textile Industry. Sustainability 2017, 9, 412.

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