Studies show that fashion industry pollution is the second largest in the world. Should we worry? Yes, of course we should worry. Now is the moment to think back at all the clothing items, shoes and accessories you have worn. Have you ever asked yourself where do they go when you throw them to garbage? Why has the fashion industry ended up as the second dirtiest industry of the world? Well, clothes manufacturing requires a complex process; it implies long and complicate supply chains of production, designing, shipping, use and disposal. Some people have doubts that the fashion industry is the second largest polluter, but what we definitely know is that it is one of the industries that has one of the highest carbon footprints.
Why is this happening? Because people are no longer able to appreciate the things, they have in front of their eyes. They have numerous options from which to choose when it comes to clothes, and they desire more. Fashion designers have a single purpose, to make people fall in love with their creations and purchase the items listed in stores.
Why is the fashion industry considered a major pollution factor?
Around 15% of the clothing items people throw are recycled
Your main question may be “What happens with the rest of the clothes we throw away daily?” The answer is a simple one; they end up in landfills where they will stay for around 300 years or more, because this is the average period of decomposition of a clothing item. The period of decomposition differs according to the fabric used to create the item. For synthetic clothes, the period is higher than 200 years, for natural fibres it is around 5 months.
Only in the USA, people throw away around 14 million tonnes of clothing items every year. All these clothes are considered fashion waste. It is a number that should make people worry, and should make them become more conscious of the damage they do to the planet by taking their clothes to garbage.
Is there any solution? Yes, RECYCLING. A simple example will help you understand how clothing recycling will make the world a healthier place. If we recycle 1 ton of textiles, the atmosphere receives with 20 tonnes less CO2.
The fashion industry is simply dirty
Yes, the clothes you buy from the store are clean, and beautiful, and shiny, and they look great. But what happens before the clothes get in the store? What steps are involved in the production process? Around 10 billion chemicals are used every year only in the fashion industry to treat the fabrics and finish the clothing items. You do not need advanced chemistry knowledge to understand that it is bad for our health, this amount of chemicals to be used only in the production of clothes. In the majority of cases, these highly toxic chemicals harm not only the environment, but also the workers, and the persons who wear the clothes. You heard it right! You and we all, as wearers of clothes put our lives in danger because some clothing items were previously treated with toxic substances.
By buying fewer clothes, and maintaining the state of the ones we already have, we have fewer chances to get sick. And if the demand is lower the harm will be also lower.
People are consuming too many clothes
Statistics show that every household produces around 1,5 tonnes of CO2 every year. If you want a comparison, the amount of CO2 is similar to the one generated by 6000 cars. Lately, people are using more and more clothing, and they easily dispose of them, because nowadays, clothing items are similar to everyday goods people are using. You may have no idea but the clothes we are dressing daily contain fibres like polyester and nylon. All these materials leave a high carbon footprint on the planet. When fashion companies produce a ton of polyester clothing items, around 5 tonnes of CO2 are emitted. The fashion industry has a great impact on climate change.
Fashion is a great consumer
Specialists consider the fashion industry as one of the thirstiest of the world, because it is the second largest consumer of water. Also, the fashion industry is the factor that produces more than 20% of the global water pollution. Why does the fashion industry have such a great impact on world pollution? It is one of the industries that use aggressive chemicals extensively and toxic substances are part of the daily processes that stand at the basis of clothing manufacturing. One of the negative actions that influence the planet is the massive over-exploitation of cotton plants. They are plants that need a lot of water to grow.
How to lower the impact the fashion industry has on the wellbeing of the planet?
The first thing people have to learn is that clothing items can be easily recycled. When it comes to expensive accessories, like briefcases, bags, or clothing items, they can be passed down through generations. It is important to preserve them in the best state. The persons who receive items from their family relatives as family legacy consider the gift meaningful and they will definitely appreciate the gesture.
If people take good care of their belongings, they will maintain their properties, and there is no reason to replace them with new ones. It is the moment to start cherish their clothing items. When you purchase clothes make sure they are high quality ones, because they will be more durable in time.
When you purchase a clothing item, make sure you adore it. Invest in timeless products, items that complement your style and meet your needs. If the clothing item fits perfectly your wardrobe, you will treasure it for a longer period.
If you no longer use a certain item, you can always donate it. When it comes to clothes, if they are in a good state there is always a person who would find them useful. Passing the items from an owner to another will keep them away from landfills and will protect the environment.