Date of Award

Spring 5-30-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA)


Landscape Architecture

First Advisor

Kathryn Foley

Second Advisor

Nick De Pace


This thesis culminated from an interest in addressing the pollution by the dye processes of the textile industry on the Earth’s waterbodies. The first Phase of this thesis explored the globalization of the garment industry. The movement of production was tracked over time from the 1950’s when production occurred primarily in the United States and Europe to present day when production is worldwide. With the global spread of the industry came the global spread of its pollutants.

The second phase of the thesis investigated the functioning of the fashion industry itself to determine which process from production to distribution is the most taxing on the environment. It was supported through research that the dyeing and finishing process has the greatest impact on the environment. Both processes of finishing and dyeing require a great deal of water and large amounts of chemicals which are highly taxing on the environment. Further research on the production of garments in the United States, through case studies, led to an attempt to understand the environmental impacts of each production stage associated with water, and the potential for a design intervention to decrease the amount of pollution that is currently produced.

The third and final Phase of this thesis focused on a proposal that addressed all of the issues previously studied in the thesis process. Throughout the thesis process, the scope of the project became exceedingly broad in an attempt understand the idiosyncrasies of a very complex and opaque industry. This phase was a comparative study of alternatives for production within the textile industry. The analysis culminated in the selection of phytoremediation, as the most appropriate option in terms of its social, environmental, and economic impacts on both the industry and surrounding communities..



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