Facts on the fashion industry and it's damaging effects on the environment.

The second largest polluting industry in the entire world is the fashion industry.

A massive amount of fashion is consumed by society around the globe.
Trends are continually changing, production is faster and prices are lower so together we need to make better choices to reduce the impact on the environment and avoid wearing this toxic clothing.
The clothing industry is the runner up after oil production when it comes to polluting our environment. Each stage throughout the manufacturing and distribution of the crops has harmful effects on our environment.
The fibre, material and the finished garment are all responsible for different forms of environmental damage including air, water and polluting soil.

I have done some research to put together this list of 15 horrific facts about the fashion industry and the negative impact it has on our planet.

15 facts on fast fashion

1. The average Australian women will buy around 27kg of new clothing in just 1 year and will only end up wearing 33% of their total wardrobe.. This means the majority of women will throw away approximately 23kg of clothing!
2. 17-20% of industrial water pollution accumulates from dying textiles and treatments used on fabric..

3. 60% of the clothing that is produced globally is made from cotton. To create just 1kg of cotton, approximately 30,000 litres of water is used. (The amount of water used to make just one shirt would provide one person enough water to drink for 2 and a half years.)

4. Cotton accounts for 25% of all pesticides used worldwide. Each crop pollutes the water and leaves the land destroyed after the use of herbicides and pesticides.

5. One single synthetic garment sheds 1,900 plastic microfibres into the water supply. These microfibres eventually end up in the ocean. Polyester in particular sinks to the bottom where it is ingested by small marine life which are then eaten by larger fish and then this toxic fibre ends up in the food chain.

6. More than 90% of cotton is now genetically modified. Over 250,000 Indian cotton farmers have killed themselves in the last 15 years due to stress and the debt they accumulated when buying genetically modified cotton seeds to keep up with demand.

7. It takes around 40 generations for a plastic clothes hanger to break down in landfill.     

8. Only 10% of clothes that are donated to charity or op shops are sold. They eventually end up in third world countries like Haiti where they are bought by the box which ruins the local industry.

9. There are roughly 40 million garment factory workers worldwide with the majority being women earning less than $3 per day

10. The world now consumes about 80 billion pieces of clothing each year which is 400% more than 2 decades ago.

11. The fashion industry produces 5 times more CO2 than the aviation industry.

12. A massive amount of fossil fuels are used even after the production of cotton when transporting from where it is grown, to where it's made then to where it is sold.

13. The clothing industry is one of the biggest employers of slave & child labour.
14. Greenpeace estimates about 20% of clothing has not been worn at all.
15. Australia is the world's 2nd largest consumer's of fashion!
As consumers, how can we make a difference and help change the way of the fashion world?
The power is in you're hands! Vote with your money to create a better world.
  • Choose to spend you're money with ethical brands who are taking positive steps to be mindful of the environment.  
  • Reduce, Reuse & Recycle - Reuse old material to create something new, give unwanted clothing away or donate to thrift shops.
  • Shop at thrift stores or search for vintage clothing
  • Buy clothing made from natural fibres such as hemp, bamboo or organic cotton.
  • Avoid fast fashion & support sustainable fashion instead.

Hemp vs Cotton

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