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