What is the Greenhouse Effect?

What is the Greenhouse Effect?

The greenhouse effect occurs naturally where some of the radiant energy from the sun after reaching the Earth’s surface is not re radiated back into space but is absorbed by gases in the atmosphere. The atmosphere traps heat fro the sun in a similar way as the g;as in a greenhouse does, hence the name “Greenhouse Effect”. Due to human activity such as burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas) and deforestation over the last 250 years, the concentration of certain gases has increased in the atmosphere that has resulted in an “enhanced” greenhouse effect.

So what are we worried about?

-Average surface temperatures have increased by at least 0.6 degrees celsius since 1861.

-Furthermore, 7 years in the last decade have been the warmest years ever recorded.

What are the predicted effects?

Global warming scientists predict that temperatures will rise between 1.4 and 5.8 degrees C, sea levels will increase by 2 – 6cm by 2100, there will be an increase in health related problems, more extreme weather events, and there will be changes in rainfall patterns affecting our current food producing areas (we are already seeing this in Australia)

What has all this got to do with fashion?

-The fashion industry is a major contributor to global warming.

-Massive amounts of water and pesticides are used to produce the fibres we wear.

-Oil is needed to produce man-made fibres, and most synthetic fibres are oil based.
-Oil is burnt to transport clothing from one country to another.

-And when we are done with our clothes, they end up in landfill sites across the world.

So how can we help to change the fashion industry?

Buy fashion that supports one of the following key elements:

1. Fashion which is made locally
2. Fashion which uses recycled fabrics
3. Fashion which uses organic fibres such as cotton grown without pesticides
4. Fashion which is made from water saving fabrics such as Bamboo
5. Fashion which uses natural dyes such as vegetable dye

Where can I find this fashion?

Do your research, there are so many eco-friendly labels on the market now, all you have to do is Google! We will be listing more links to eco-friendly fashion labels as this blog progresses.

Katie Gannon

After running an ethical fashion label for 5 years, I started this blog in 2007 after learning first hand about the importance of sustainability in fashion design. I am a passionate environmentalist and wish to promote individuals and organisations around the world working on innovative design. I have a BA in Communications / Media as well as a Cert IV in Clothing Production, and run my own graphic design company at www.katiegannon.com

1 Comment
  • petetow
    Posted at 11:19h, 02 May Reply

    Everyone can help in some way, conerviving power, using less fuels, switch off lights, tv’s, dvd,s dry clothes outside using rotary washing lines instead of dryers, use less gas if possible, everything helps and we can all do something to help.

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