Today is 9.9 Sale day and most are now catching the best deals online and since most are now considering work-from-home arrangements, this is a good opportunity to practice Earth-friendly materials. We have heard of “sustainable” promotions in tourism where we strategically source our materials to whatever is local, cultural, and as much as possible, biodegradable.
If you’re still not convinced that fashion needs to reduce its environmental impact, here are a few statistics about the fashion industry that keep us up at night:
- The fashion industry uses enough water to quench the thirst of 110 million people for an entire year.
- The production of clothes creates the same amount of emissions as 372 million cars driving for one year.
- There are 29 pounds (or the weight of 3 gallon containers of milk) of fashion waste produced for every person on the planet each year.
- 51 countries use child labor in at least one part of their garment or jewellery supply chains.
- Evidence shows how child labor is used in cotton cultivation, with children as young as five working in cotton fields or ginning factories in countries such as India, Egypt and Kazakhstan.
- 45.8 million people are living in modern slavery or forced labor today, many in the supply chains of clothing brands and retailers.
- Every second, the equivalent of one garbage truck of textiles is landfilled or incinerated globally.
So how to be sustainable in fashion?
- Buy clothes with joy, and buy things that you know you will want to wear year after year. This can mean buying items that are more expensive, which often forces you to make more considered purchasing decisions. Or, changing the speed at which you buy things. Or, buying things used and second-hand.
- Support designers that are committed to sustainable practices. (We have some suggestions here, here, and here).
- Consider the end of life of your garments. Can it be recycled? Repaired? Donated? Resold? Turned into something else? In short, can you keep it out of landfill?
- Become an active citizen and let your politicians know that you support stronger laws to protect workers and the environment!
- Know your fabric – Silk, linen, wool, and hemp fabrics easily decompose into natural elements (as in, not landfill filler) after being trashed. You can also go “Vegan” by consuming products that are now made from “harmed” animals
This is when I found out about Nike, I personally choose the brand since it also celebrates inclusvity and diversity!
Here’s what I got from its website:
- We are improving our environmental impact by stewarding where our largest volume materials come from through Nike’s Sustainable Materials Principles.
- We are focused on reducing our impact by prioritizing more sustainable options under each of our three material categories:
- Grown: Materials originating from a plant or other bio-based source
- Derived: Materials originating from a synthetic base
- Raised: Materials originating from an animal