Wasteful reality of the fashion industry and how we contribute to it.
Updated: Jun 21, 2021
We barely ever think, while strolling across stores at a mall or walking down a fashion street, how all the clothing that we see in stores is manufactured and delivered in masses. Fashion factories got their way in and along with other issues in respect to their boom, they have caused and pierced disparaging effects on our environment and play a big role in climate change. To manufacture and produce such a vast amount of apparel, the fashion industry tends to send cheap labour and production units across ultramarine borders to cut costs in minimum wages that are regulated in many industrialised countries. It will be true to state that fashion consumers in the Northern part of America can afford cheap apparel but alongside that, cheap fashion comes with a price tag or a quotation in itself with damaging significance.
Excessive Usage of Water
Industrial fashion factories are responsible for over one-tenth water usage all over the globe. To get a little more statistical with this data, one-tenth means that almost 10,000 litres of water are used to manufacture one single kilogram of cotton and having said that, it takes almost 3,000 litres of water to produce one cotton shirt. With this presented quantitative data, we can easily make out and calculate how many litres of water is actually being used in order to produce clothes for an individual for a single day. Yes, it's quite a lot more than we expected. Globally, almost 20% of wastewater is accredited during this whole process. As mentioned before, industrial fashion factories are shifted to lesser developed countries overseas because of lesser regulations in terms of minimum wages and environmental protection laws, crediting the crude water being pushed over in the oceans. And, wastewater coming together with other toxins, make the water so toxic that it is impossible to treat it to be safe for consumption again. Basically, coming back to square one and primarily wasting water without leaving any scope for recycling.
Excessive Consumption of Clothing
Internet trends, as well as fashion, becoming reasonably cheap and affordable to almost everyone around the globe influence consumers to buy more clothes more often. According to reports of the year 2019, almost 62 million metric tons of clothing was used globally. Over the last few years, the way consumption and manufacturing of fashion production has skyrocketed is commendable but at the same time, it causes many ill effects to the environment. In certain ways, it benefits the economy, but at the same time, the landfills are getting filled quicker due to poor quality of clothing. Instead of donating, recycling or upcycling, there is a significant amount of clothing that is opted to be thrown out for various reasons, one of them being a huge supply that continues to grow every year. Statistically, almost 57% of discarded clothes end up in landfills and are further moved out to be incarcerated. This process results in air pollution i.e, a large amount of toxic pollutants being emitted into the environment. Even though there has been an advancement in technology focusing on capturing these pollutants, they still remain stagnant and often turn even more dangerous than their original self.