Have you ever considered the environmental impact of adding clothing items to your cart or going to the mall to buy new clothes for various occasions? Many of you, I’m sure, have never done anything like this before.
In the fashion world, there has been an enticing variety of newness. When there are so many great options everywhere, it becomes really difficult to hold on to our old clothes and continue to wear them. Furthermore, with the rise of online shopping, people are buying fashion items in unprecedented numbers. The growing demand for low-cost items and new styles is taking a toll on the environment as customers around the world purchase more clothing.
Let me begin by introducing you to Fast Fashion. The word has become increasingly common in discussions about fashion, sustainability, and environmental awareness. The word refers to high-priced garments that imitate the latest catwalk trends and are rapidly circulated into stores to capitalise on the latest trend. Fast fashion emphasizes fast production times and reduced costs to produce new collections frequently, often inspired by celebrities. As the fashion industry faces increasing pressures to cut costs and shorten production times, corners are often cut, resulting in a negative effect on the environment. In reality, after the oil industry, it is the world’s second-largest polluter.
Fashion output accounts for 10% of overall global carbon emissions, the same as the European Union, according to Business Insider. It depletes water supplies thus polluting rivers and streams. Every year, 85 per cent of all textiles end up in landfills. Every year, washing clothes releases 500000 tones of microfibers into the ocean, which is equal to 50 billion plastic bottles.
We must keep track of the carbon footprints left by the fashion industry as customers. We know that sale season is almost here, and you’ve been waiting for it with great anticipation, but first, let’s talk about how fast fashion affects the world-
· It uses a tenth of the water that is used in industry to operate factories and clean goods.
· One kg of cotton requires 10,000 litres of water to manufacture, while ONE COTTON SHIRT requires approximately 3000 litres of water.
· In the majority of garment-producing countries, untreated toxic wastewater from factories is discharged directly into rivers. Toxic compounds such as lead, mercury, and arsenic can be found in wastewater. These are particularly hazardous to marine life as well as the health of the millions of people who live along the river’s banks. This pollution even makes its way to the sea, where it gradually spreads all over the world.
So, as consumers, what should we be doing? First, we must determine the root cause of the issues; then, as we link the dots and establish solutions, the following steps become clearer. Second, do some research on the clothing brands you like. Next, choose clothing from countries with more stringent environmental regulations (US, Canada, EU). This won’t be always practical, so go for natural and organic fabrics which don’t need chemicals to manufacture. Begin by wearing your clothes for longer periods, shopping at thrift or resale stores that promote the green economy, and donating your old clothes to those who are in need. Buy fewer, higher-quality products, repair your clothing, and recycle. Choose environmentally-friendly brands. Look for clothing with a certification mark that specifies the chemical material. Also, recall that LESS IS ALWAYS MORE.