Our oceans are drowning in plastic and fashion industry is responsible for it.
Updated: Jun 21, 2021
Since plastic is very difficult to get rid of, it finds a way to enter the human food chain through marine life, which can result in various health issues. If we analyze this closely, it’s all a circle where we get what we give.
Synthetic fibres such as plastic microfibres are one of the prime reasons why and how the ocean is getting polluted with plastic and synthetic materials. Quantitatively, almost 35% of microplastics come from synthetic materials. To produce clothing in even cheaper ways, producers and manufacturers turn to synthetic material such as polyester that tends to release more carbon emissions than cotton. Consequently, as we know, plastic takes hundreds of years to degrade. After many years, when plastic finally breaks down, it emits toxic pollutants which results in the degradation of the marine ecosystem.
Another way of how plastic enters marine life is through washing machines. It is quite obvious that washing machines have become essential in almost every household. However, it is also necessary to operate it in a way that causes less harm to the environment, for example by making sure to switch the washing machine on only for full loads.
Usage of Viscose
Viscose was brought out and introduced in the year 1890 as a much cheaper to cotton. Popularly it is also known as Rayon, which is a common viscose fibre that is made out of pulp extracted from wood. It has a lot of adverse effects on the environment such as harmful chemicals and unethical sourcing of material. Fashion industry using toxic chemicals concerns many with the impacts it has on the environment directly and beyond that as well. For an instance, the carbon disulphide chemical is used in the production of viscose which results in lethal side effects on workers health. It also is not very amusing that viscose or rayon results in larger greenhouse gas emissions than cotton.
As mentioned and quite evident from the data represented, the fashion industry emits more than half of carbon emission than all international flight carriers and maritime shipping, together. Even if the fashion industry tries to maintain at least 50% in greenhouse gas emission, more than that will be expected in a decade. The fashion market and industry have both caused enough damage to the environment and it's our time to take over sustainable proactive steps to advocate for green living.