Though most people do not group the fashion industry with other pollutive segments of the economy, the dark secret of fashion companies is quickly coming to light. Indeed, fashion is an incredibly wasteful industry. Textile manufacturing processes require ample resources from cotton to fur, down, fossil fuels and plenty of water. The resulting carbon footprint is quite massive. Chemical dyes used to make clothing are poisoning our environment. In fact, textile production creates the second most pollution of all industries. Only the oil industry generates more pollution than the textile industry. Thankfully, there is a movement toward sustainable fashion and green rubbish clearance that reduces the industry’s impact on our planet.
Why Today’s Fashion is Terrible for the Environment
Aside from requiring massive amounts of water, cotton and other raw materials to make garments, the fashion industry also pollutes our land and water. All sorts of harmful pesticides are used for cotton farming. An abundance of toxic dyes are used during garment manufacturing processes. Numerous chemicals are also used during these processes and end up polluting our planet. Don’t forget about the incredible amount of waste discarded garments generate. You can greatly mitigate this waste by allying with a green rubbish removal provider like Clearabee. There is also the matter of the fossil fuels required to ship garments from manufacturers to merchants. The fashion industry is global in nature. Garments are typically produced in China or developing countries and shipped to consumers halfway across the globe.
Drawing Attention to the Wastefulness of Conventional Fashion
Elizabeth Illing launched the Stopshop campaign to draw attention to the wastefulness of the fashion industry. The project gained steam in recent months thanks to its popularity on Instagram. Illing, a graduate of the University for the Creative Arts in London, posted numerous quotes from customers that reflect the value placed on traditional “fast fashion”garments. These messages were then printed directly onto clothing labels in an effort to help raise awareness of the problems with fast fashion. Fast fashion is the conventional and highly wasteful means of producing garments and fashion accessories. The sad truth is the typical consumer buys a trendy piece of clothing, wears it for a year or less and trashes it. Though Clearabee’s rubbish clearance team can remove such undesired garments in the greenest manner possible, trashing clothes after a few uses is is not sustainable in the slightest.
An example of Illing’s label messages is: “I won’t wear this blouse again as it is already posted to my Instagram.” The aim of the campaign is to inspire people to make more ethical choices when purchasing and using garments. Though plenty of people are willing to get behind the sustainability movement in the context of green travel, green rubbish clearance through Clearabee, veganism and recycling at home/work, comparably few are cognizant of sustainable fashion. When you think about it, there is no sense in buying pants that cost €14 even when you don’t really like them that much, only wear them a dozen times and subsequently lose interest. This approach to fashion ultimately results in a closet full of disposable items that are no longer on-trend and will likely be trashed in the near future.
It is time for consumers to take a moment to consider all of the natural resources and labor required to generate garments. It takes upwards of 5,000 gallons of water to make a pair of jeans and a shirt. If such garments aren’t worn for years or at least passed down to someone in need of clothes, it won’t be long until our planet’s resources begin to dwindle. This is precisely why Illing added the cost of garments to clothes’ tags. Dubbed “wardrobe waste” tags, the purpose of bringing cost to the forefront of consumers’ minds is to highlight the amount of money spent on clothes that are only worn a few times.
Take a look at the tags on your clothes and there is a good chance you will find cotton listed as one of the materials used in their creation. In fact, this natural fiber is used in upwards of 40 percent of the world’s garments. Though cotton appears quite innocent and pure, it has a dark side that few are aware of. An abundance of water is required to grow cotton. This crop also depends on a wide array of chemicals and insecticides. A whopping 25 percent of all agricultural insecticides and 10 percent of agricultural chemicals are used to grow cotton. Yet cotton comprises merely two percent of the globe’s cropland.
To fully understand the wastefulness and pollutive nature of cotton, one need not look further than Uzbekistan. One of the world’s leading cotton producers, Uzbekistan redirected two rivers from the nearby Aral sea to irrigate cotton back in the 50s. Fast forward to today and the sea’s levels are down by more than 10 percent. If this rate were to continue, the sea would be empty in less than 500 years. Wait, it gets worse. The Aral’s drying led to over-salinization along with a building up pesticides and fertilizer from cotton fields. A large percentage of the Aral’s fish perished. The chemical-laden lakebed combined with salt-heavy air spurred a public health crisis. This dire situation in Uzbekistan is the perfect example of how the endless consumption of clothing is ruining our precious planet.
Sustainable fashion is all about buying clothes that stand the test of time. Everyone should take the time necessary to pick out garments that are truly timeless. Consumers should think about how a certain design will look a few years from now and even a few decades from now. Furthermore, consumers should focus on purchasing clothes they actually need. It does not make sense for a customer to purchase a fashionable dress that she will discard after wearing once, twice or even half a dozen times. Clearabee is here to remove such garments and other items in the most environmentally-friendly manner possible. Yet the proper long-term solution is to buy stylish garments that stand the test of time in terms of utility as well as aesthetic appeal.