The fast fashion industry is the second-biggest polluter on the planet, followed by the oil industry. From sourcing of textiles to discarding of used-clothes, the fashion industry pollutes the environment in some way or the other at every step.
The drying up of rivers in third-world countries, the growth of landfills in locations around the world and the release of greenhouses gases into the atmosphere are just a few ways the fashion industry harms the world we live in.
Consider the fact that 40% of the clothing produced in the world consists of cotton, which happens to be one of the thirstiest plants on Earth.
It takes 2,700 liters of water to produce a cotton t-shirt. Hundreds of thousands of cotton t-shirts are produced around the globe every day. The amount of water needed to produce a single cotton t-shirt can keep a human alive for 3 and a half years, yet people continue to die due to the lack of water every year and clothing companies continue to churn out more and more products.
The growth of sustainable fashion in the industry shows that there is a demand for eco-friendly clothing in the market. If the demand for eco-fashion grows, companies will be forced to adjust their offerings accordingly.
Here’s how sustainable fashion can cut textile waste and pollution:
Brands interpret the term “eco-fashion” in various ways. Waste-reduction is a huge component of eco-fashion. Sustainable brands make a conscious decision to reduce waste at every step of production. They use sustainable fabrics that don’t require large amounts of water to manufacture.
They install systems to prevent the wastage of electricity, energy and textile waste. They implement zero-waste pattern cutting policies to limit wastage when the cloth is being cut.
Fast fashion brands like H&M and Nike that have come under fire for burning tons of unsold merchandise to reduce inventory costs have taken up initiatives to be more environmentally-friendly. H&M now collects used H&M clothing from consumers for the purpose of recycling purposes.
Whitehouse & Schapiro has been committed to recycling and reducing textile waste for decades.
As second-hand clothing traders, we collect credential clothing and thrift store excess from around the country and sell it to partners in foreign markets such as Africa, Pakistan, Chile, Japan, and Eastern Europe. Our collective efforts prevent 2.5million tons of textile waste from clogging landfills every year.
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