How Does Sustainable Fashion Help The Environment?

How Does Sustainable Fashion Help The Environment?

The push for a more sustainable fashion industry is largely due to our increased awareness on the damage we have caused to our environment.

The fashion industry is one of the least environmentally sustainable industries in the world – and it is growing every day.

We have all switched to reusable mugs, abandoned the days of plastic bags and now it is time that we start focusing on sustainable fashion to help the environment. 

Fast fashion is a global problem, with the industry causing 10% of the world’s carbon emissions.

Every year, the fashion industry causes 1.2 billion tonnes of CO2 emissions.

The production of fashion garments, in particular cotton farming, results in 20% of the world’s industrial water pollution.

How Does Sustainable Fashion Help The Environment

One thing we rarely consider is how much water is involved with garment and textile production.

It takes 2000 gallons of water to make one pair of jeans, and just think about how many pairs of jeans you see in one shop.

750 million people do not have access to safe drinking water, with countries like India and China suffering from the impact of unregulated chemicals that enter the system due to toxic water waste. 80% of the groundwater in China from major river basins is “unsuitable” for human contact due to the pollution of textile related dyes and chemicals.

The most noticeable impact of fast fashion on the environment is the debris it leaves behind either on land or the sea.

Most fast fashion garments are full of microplastics and microfibers which cause 31% of the plastic pollution in our oceans.

Every time we load a washing machine full of clothing, 1900 microfibres enter our water system.

Did you know that 85% of the microplastics found in our oceans and lakes are from clothes? 

Most of the materials used to make fashion garments are not biodegradable, and it takes over 200 years for polyester to decompose.

While 10.5 million tons of clothing goes to landfill every year in the United States alone, less than 15% of people are recycling their clothing. $500 billion worth of clothing is either under-utilised or sent to landfill every year.

Unless we take action to move towards a more sustainable fashion industry, the carbon emission output of the industry is expected to increase from 10% to a shocking 26% within the next thirty years.

The ‘Nature Reviews Earth and Environment’ journal has said that the industry has to undergo significant and fundamental changes to mitigate it causes to the environment, and to attempt to reverse the environmental damage that is being caused by the explosion of fast fashion.

Closing Thought

By switching to sustainable fashion, we can preserve the soil necessary to increase food production to meet the global demand, as well as to help preserve our forests and biodiversity.

Every year, 70 million trees are cut down to make fashion garments, which has a massive impact on indigenous communities who rely on the land for their crops and to provide them with an income.

Sustainable fashion can help every aspect of our environment, from reducing greenhouse gas emissions to saving our rainforests and protecting wildlife from the catastrophic impact of plastic and chemical water waste. 

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