A recent report from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation provides some startling insights. The Fashion industry alone is responsible for 20% of global industrial water pollution and represents 4% of the global freshwater withdrawal.
Clothing production consumed 98 million tonnes of oil in 2015 and is expected to use 300 million tonnes by 2050, becoming responsible for 26% of the carbon budget.
Between now and 2050, an estimated 22 million tonnes of plastic microfibers will be added to the ocean, all due to the washing of plastic based textiles. Not to mention the 3 kilograms of toxic chemicals necessary to produce only 1 kilogram of cotton garments.
The list goes on and on.
On top of this companies routinely keep burning clothes and destroying their own merchandise. That’s right – BURNING IT.
- Fast fashion brand H&M burned $4.3 billion worth of clothing that it considered unsellable in 2018.
- British luxury brand Burberry destroyed $36.8 million worth of its products in 2017 to guard against counterfeits and ensure the exclusivity of the brand’s name.
The real problem is that companies are making too many clothes.
So what do we do? Buy less, buy second-hand, repair what you can, keep your clothes for longer…
Companies will continue to burn clothes, whether you buy them second hand or not. Someone will always be there to buy cheap fashion.
But ultimately what needs to change? Companies.
How will this happen? With changes in policy and regulations to keep the fashion industry in check. Let’s work on that.
Reference- Clean Technica, NewYork Times, Ellen MacArthur Foundation Report