The fashion industry is the second largest polluter of the environment in the world. With reducing price of clothes, fashion shopping has become quite frequent and is often categorised as an addiction. It is not rare for some shopper to name their latest fashion purchase as an impulse buy.
While it is easy to get caught in a temptation of new clothes, it is also important to understand the disastrous impact it has on the environment. Fast fashion focuses on speed and low cost in order to deliver frequent new collections inspired by catwalk looks or celebrity styles. It faces a lot of pressure to reduce cost and time it takes to get a product from design to shop floor. In order to achieve this, the environment is often neglected.
Fashion and Water Consumption
The fashion industry is one of the biggest water consumers in the world. Up to 20,000 litres of water is needed to produce 1 kg of cotton. Also, about 200 tons of fresh water is required to produce a ton of dyed cloth.
Fashion and Water Pollution
The fashion industry generates a lot of waste in the production process which is then disposed off into the rivers. This wastewater contains toxic substances such as lead, mercury and arsenic. These substances are harmful to the marine life and for people living around the banks of these rivers.
Fashion and Microfibres
Washing a synthetic garment releases about 1900 microfibers in the water. These microfibers are like plastic and cannot be filtered through drainage systems. They then go into the oceans polluting them and causing harm to the aquatic life by getting into their food.
Fashion and Waste Accumulation
With a reduction in the prices of clothes, the textile waste has increased. An average family in a western world throws away up to 30 kg of clothes every year. Only 15% of it is recycled or donated. The rest of it goes directly in the landfills.
Fashion and Carbon Emissions
The Fashion industry accounts for 10% of the global carbon emissions. It generates a lot of greenhouse gases due to energy used for production, manufacturing and transportation of the products which requires a lot of fossil fuel.
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The CSR Journal Team