How many times did you get angry seeing your clothes getting faded just after using a few times?
Yes, we lost count too. The fashion industry has moved to a point where people have to spend less to gain lesser value. But nobody minds because garments have become more affordable than it was a decade ago. This is when you should be thinking about sustainability in fashion industry. Whether you own a fashion brand or a consumer, you must adopt sustainable solutions in every aspect of your life – even for your daily wear. Now, why is that important? Keep reading and you will find out.
The Rise of Fast Fashion
During the last decade, fashion business owners saw an upsurge in revenue having it doubled up. According to Research and Market the fashion industry is expected to grow from $68,634.9 million in 2020 to $163,486.5 million in 2025 at a rate of 19%.
This means clothing have become more budget friendly to people. They can afford garments more than their need. You can already measure that by comparing the amount of clothes you have to that of your grandparents. Undoubtedly, this is good news for fashion business owners.
Well, let’s think it from a different perspective. With people buying 60% more garments, what happens to the life cycle of those products? According to a study conducted by Sophie Woodward, sociologist at the University of Manchester, 12% of clothes in women’s wardrobe remain inactive. Also, an average American throws away around 37kg of clothes every year.
This clarifies fast fashion that are skyrocketing sales but also creating abundant waste for the environment.
Every year, garments produce substandard clothing which wear out after a couple of usages. Also, with the new arrivals, brands constantly create an urgency for people to get newer clothes every time.
These clothes are entering the vicious cycle of environment pollution and affecting our planet. Only one solution can help us retract from this situation – the call for sustainability in fashion industry.
Now, before we discuss the possible ways to mitigate the problem, take a look at the environmental costs of fast fashion.
How Fast Fashion is Costing Our Environment
As fast fashion trends escalate, people tend to over shop – resulting in more garment waste. Unfortunately, it is the second largest polluter in the world after the oil industry. Take a look at the few major environmental impact that the fashion industry is causing:
Garments produce toxic wastewaters that go directly into the rivers. As a result, the river gets polluted with extremely harmful substances such as lead, arsenic, mercury, and other deadly contents. Moreover, it takes almost 7,500 to 10,000 liters of water to produce only a pair of jeans. You could drink that much water for 10 years!
During the epidemic, many individuals wore just athleisure clothing. The flexibility and breathability in most athleisure originate from the usage of synthetic plastic fibers like polyester, nylon, acrylic, spandex, and others, which are all composed of plastic. Microplastics from synthetic fibers are shed into the wastewater when synthetic clothing is laundered. Some of it is filtered out with human waste while others enter the soil and food chain. They end up in rivers and seas, as well as in the atmosphere carried away by saltwater droplets.
Every year, fashion industry demolishes 70 million tons of trees in demand for rayon, viscose, and other materials. According to MacArthur Foundation research, the fashion business emits 1.2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. In 2018, it created more greenhouse gas emissions than France, Germany, and the United Kingdom combined. Nearly 65 percent of all clothes contain polyester, a material derived from fossil fuels. Hence, the fashion business consumes a significant quantity of fossil fuel.
This is just a small picture of fashion industry contaminating the environment. However, it entails waste, energy crisis, chemical pollution, and endanger animal living as well.
As said earlier, you can build a healthier earth by adopting sustainability in fashion industry. The next section will teach you how:
How to Establish Sustainability in Fashion Industry
Sustainability is such a common term yet we pay little attention to it. By definition, it means to sustain; to keep going. In this context, we will talk about providing support to the earth for a better living environment.
Sustainability in fashion industry entails maximization in benefitting people through fashion but minimizing the environmental impact. If you are one of the fast fashion retailers, it’s time you create eco-friendly fashion for your customers.
This is how you should do it.
- Introduce no-waste cutting patterns. Use a measurement guide before creating a garment. It will save you fabric and also help you in waste management.
- Create long-lasting clothes. Poor quality materials, sloppy stitching, and terrible size measurements are just a few of the factors that can shorten the life of a garment.
- Create multifunctional garment. Introduce garments that people can wear in alternate ways.
- Use upcycling more often. This will allow you to cut both waste and cost. By applying this, you can transform existing clothing or waste materials into a brand-new product.
- Design items in a way that customers can disassemble, repair, reuse, or recycle the product.
- Use more natural and semi-synthetic fibers while making the cloth. Avoid polyester microfibers as they are one of the core reasons of environment pollution.
One thing you should keep mind that sustainability in fashion industry doesn’t only mean applying sustainable manufacturing tactics. It also ensures worker’s fair wage, prohibition of child labor, and working towards creating a sustainable future.
Hopefully, this article was helpful to acknowledge the impact of sustainability in fashion industry. Whether you are a fashion brand owner or a consumer, taking sustainable actions is necessary to save our planet. It’s true sustainable fashion is expensive than fast fashion. But it also ensures eco-friendly living and ethical standards. This is the point where everyone should unit. And it can be only possible when everyone is aware in their respective fields.