Fashion and Environmental Issues

‘Portable Pelt’ 2009 by Tara Baoth Mooney

– The 
fashion industry is the second largest user of water in the world. Pretty scary when there are almost 1 billion people in the world with no safe drinking water source.

– Over 90 million items (or 2 million tonnes) of clothing end up in land fill sites globally each year. (BBC – 2009)

– 150 grams of pesticides and other agricultural chemicals are used to produce the cotton for just one t-shirt.

-Sheep, alpaca, llamas and other wool-bearing animals contribute to the production of methane gas, a major greenhouse gas.

-The growing and harvesting of natural fibers such as cotton and hemp generally use farm tractors and truckswhich run on non-renewable fossil fuels of diesel and gasoline that pour black smoke and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

-Petroleum-derived synthetic fibers like polyester and nylon and the “natural” man-made fibers such as lyocell and rayon generally require additional energy to cook and reduce wood pulp into the liquid solution that is forced through spinnerets to become a fiber for fabrics.

-The transportation of clothing from manufacturers to distributors to retail stores to customers depends upon a global fleet of trucks, planes and ships. Much of the cotton produced in the U.S. is shipped to garment factories in China where it is manufactured into clothing that is then shipped back to the U.S. Just think of all the carbon emissionscreated for that cheap tee shirt.

60% of the greenhouse gases generated over the life of a simple tee shirt come from the typical 25 washings and machine dryings. The carbon emissions created to generate the electricity used to wash clothing in warm temperature water and warm temperature tumble dryers exceeds the carbon emissions created during the growing, manufacturing and shipping of clothing.

So are we doomed? NO! We love fashion as much as you do! That is why we have started this blog, to discuss ways we all can make more sustainable fashion choices …

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