Sustainable Fashion: Part 1
May 5, 2017
Sustainable fashion, once frowned upon by many consumers, is a growing trend taking the fashion industry by storm. It proves that “sustainable” and “fashionable” don’t have to be mutually exclusive.
Why fashion needs to be sustainable
Can clothes be made in an ethical way that considers both people and the planet?
While it may not seem as obvious right away why your clothes may have a negative impact on the environment, the following facts might change the way you see the clothing industry.
According to Earth Pledge, at least 8000 chemicals are used to turn raw materials into textiles and 25% of pesticides around the world are used to grow cotton.
A Greener Daily Life compiled some facts about the pair of jeans you may be wearing right now:
- It takes 2/3 of a pound of toxic herbicides and pesticides to grow the cotton in this one pair of jeans. It’s grown in places like South Asia or Africa, where they use chemicals that are toxic to farm workers. Chemicals that seep into the soil and the ground water, cause cancer, immune and nervous system disorders, and birth defects, and kill wildlife.
- More than 2,000 gallons of water are used to grow the cotton and dye the fabric that goes into a single pair of conventional jeans. When that water is discharged, it contains toxic chemicals that poison drinking water and aquatic ecosystems.
Another factor that contributes to this development is the immense growth of the “Fast Fashion” Industry. Fast fashion companies sell you inexpensive clothes, but they come at a huge human, social and environmental cost.
In today’s society we simply buy too much too fast. The average American throws away 65 lbs of clothes every year, wasting natural resources used in extraction, farming, harvesting, processing, shipping etc. The low cost compels the consumer to not even question whether they really need or love the piece of clothing. Cheap prices generally lead to increased waste and poor conditions for the workers who make the clothes.
So what can you do to make your closet more sustainable? Find out next week in part two of our Sustainable Fashion blog!