The environmental impact of the fashion industry
Water consumption and pollutionFast fashion is an industry thirsty for more and more garments at the lowest possible price. Around 20,000 liters of water are needed to produce a single pair of jeans; this includes the water needed to create the fabric, the dyeing process, and any other finishing processes in the factory. In addition to wasting water, fast fashion is also contaminating farm water with pesticides and other chemicals, as well as the use of toxic dyes in factories. In countries where fast fashion is produced, there is usually little environmental regulation, which intensifies the problem, because it seems that it does not exist or is made invisible. This high level of water contamination is not only affecting the environment, but also the people who work in the supply chains and local communities, who see their health and the quality of the water they consume diminished.
Residuous generationAlso the generation of waste by the fashion industry is scandalous. Approximately 92 million kilos of textile waste are produced each year, which is equivalent to a garbage truck of clothing being dumped into a landfill every second. On the one hand, there is waste during production: fabrics thrown away due to inefficient patterns or overstocking. Then there are the unsold clothes in stores, which are often shredded or burned by fast fashion brands. However, as fast fashion encourages us to keep buying more, quickly disposing of clothing and buying new pieces, there is also ever-increasing amounts of post-consumer waste ending up in landfill.
carbon footprintOn the other hand, if we talk about carbon footprint , the fashion industry is responsible for approximately 10% of all carbon emissions in the world! Some emissions come from transporting garments from one side of the world to the other, from the countries where they are made to the countries where they are sold. Although it highlights that the biggest contributor to the carbon footprint of fashion is its massive use of energy, especially since the countries of production depend mainly on non-renewable energy sources. Finally, we cannot forget the high emissions from the manufacture of animal materials such as leather or wool.
Is there a solution?How can the fashion industry stop having such a negative environmental impact? Well, at Rewinder we are convinced that it can be done and, in fact, we work for it. We totally believe in the power of people, in their decision-making capacity lies the possibility of generating change and significantly reducing all these adverse effects that the fashion industry generates on the natural and social environment that surrounds it. We need to scale back production, go back to durable clothing that we can wear for years.
If you want to know more about how companies can do more to reduce their environmental impact, we suggest you also read this .