Fast fashion is slowly killing our planet. The good news is that it’s not too late to turn the tide. The conversation around sustainable fashion is one of the most exciting ones happening in the industry right now. Consumers and brands are coming together to forge a sustainable future. We want to tell you a little about the dangers of fast fashion and why it’s important that we take steps towards more environmentally friendly alternatives, whether it is changing our shopping habits or using recycled materials. Here’s a snapshot of some of the problems fast fashion has created for our planet.
Every day, we’re becoming more aware of the dangers of fast fashion. 10% of the world’s carbon emission comes from the fashion industry, creating around 1.2 billion tons of CO2 emissions. If the current growth level continues, this will hit 26% in the next 30 years. If we choose more sustainable options and double the lifespan of our clothes, we can reduce emissions by 24%.
It takes 1.5 trillion litres of water to enable the fashion industry to product clothing and textiles. One cotton t-shirt requires 700 gallons of water, about the amount the water an adult drinks every three and a half years. The jeans you’re probably wearing take 2,000 gallons to make each pair.
Cotton farming in particular is harming our planet, particularly due to its excessive use of water and waste products including chemicals. In India, 100 million people do not have access to clean drinking water while 85% of the water needed for the population is used for cotton production. Take a look at the Aral Sea to see the impact of 50 years of cotton farming.
The production of clothing is not the only issue. 85% of textiles end up in landfill. 2,625 kilograms of clothing are burnt or taken to landfill every second. At that rate, you could fill the Sydney Harbour every year. Three-fifths of clothing ends up in landfill within a year of us purchasing it. It shows an easy way of us to become more sustainable, by making sure we get our money’s worth out of clothing and wearing it more than a handful of times. Greenpeace estimate that 20% of the clothing in our closet are never worn once.
How to Make Sustainable Fashion Choices
Deciding to become more environmentally friendly does not mean you have to give up on buying clothes. In fact, all it takes is a few small steps. Most fashion garments are difficult to recycle, with less than 15% of people donating their clothing or choosing to try to recycle it. Millennials and Generation Z are leading the way to make the industry more sustainable. 60% of the Millennial demographic have said they are trying to shop more sustainably. From the start of 2017 to the end of 2018, there was a 250% increase in google searches for sustainable fashion.
Thrifting and buying clothing second-hand has become more popular, especially with vintage trends dominating the industry. A quick scroll through Instagram or TikTok will show you the popularity of sites like Depop and Vestiaire Collective.
Are you actively trying to make more sustainable fashion choices? Are you aware of the dangers of fast fashion?