What? The fashion industry is one of the most environmentally damaging industries in the world? I love clothing, the crazier the better, and I go through clothes like a Hollywood diva and shoes like Imelda Marcos...
Nine reasons it's a dirty industry:
- Thousands of gallons of water to grow just enough cotton for a t-shirt.
- Nasty pesticides.
- Toxic dyes.
- Low grade bunker fuel used in shipping containers of clothing.
- Fast fashion has made it so trends are changing weekly now, instead of seasonally! Zara famously re-stocks their styles twice a week instead of twice a year...
- Synthetic fabric production emits greenhouse gases into the air.
- These fabrics don't break down at the landfill, and they
- break down into chemical laden fiber pieces while being washed, then they flow into our water system...
- Only about 20 percent of used clothing in secondhand shops actually gets sold! Most of it ends up in landfills.
- Cheap clothes are made in sweatshops in developing countries.
Fast fashion is poorly made and quickly tossed out. In the past our unused clothing was shipped to Asia and then eventually Africa. Damaged clothing might be turned into rags for cleaning. But our fast fashion is made from such poor quality materials that even the neediest people on earth don't have a use for it. Second hand clothing sells in bales for just a few cents a pound! Hello! Wake up call! When I purge my closet and feel ok about donating all that clothing to Goodwill...I'm actually just dumping most of it in the landfill... Yeeeesh.
What to do?
1. Shop consignment.
2. Reduce the amount of clothing you buy.
3. Buy high quality, classic pieces.
4. Take used clothing to consignment shops.
6. Buy new clothes from sustainable producers.
7. Repair shoes and other quality items.
Want to know more?