Written by Sara Chemello
Our generation’s consuming lifestyle motored by advertisements, magazines and social media is making us think it’s okay to keep buying clothes without questioning their origin, their quality or their durability. If you think about the fact that 60% of all the clothes fabricated on Earth are made of polyester (sport shirts, yoga pants, fleeces etc.). And the fact that once we wash this polyester we release millions of microfibres (small bits of plastic) that end up in our own waterways. And the fact that these microfibres attract industrial chemicals, motor oil and pesticides that GUESS WHAT enter the oceans biodiversity and lastly end up in our seafood spaghetti. Think about how we are hurting the environment by only covering ourselves!
This is why we have to start thinking harder about each piece of clothing we buy and even harder about all the clothing we throw away. The fashion industry, wether you love it or not, is SO EXTREMELY POLLUTING even though most people have no clue of how hurtful their closets are to mother Earth.
Every stage of the process of the making of our denims and Tees is a threat to our planet: according to the Business of Fashion ‘it can take more than 20,000 litres of water to produce 1kg of cotton, equivalent to a single t-shirt and pair of jeans. Up to 8,000 different chemicals are used to turn raw materials into clothes, including a range of dyeing and finishing processes’. In China alone ‘the textile industry ranked third for overall in Chinese industry for wastewater discharge amount at 2.5 billion tons of wastewater per year in 2010’ according to the Tree Hugger.
And what happens with all the clothing that breaks, doesn’t sell or falls out of style? I either pass my clothes on to my sister or to friends or I give it to the needy however most pieces of used and unused clothing end up in giant landfills. Reformation says that ‘Americans throw away over 14 million tons of textiles a year. Over 99% of the clothing thrown away in the US can be recycled or reused, but sadly more than 85% ends up in landfills. Even in a landfill, these materials don’t just go away—nylon takes 30 to 40 years to biodegrade, while polyester requires more than 200 years’. THIS IS CRAZY and we really NEED to calm down on the shopping!
GO support eco-friendly brands next time you need an item of clothing, here is a list of the many great brands that are making a differece: