Is Your Wardrobe Coming at The Cost of a Sustainable Environment?

You may have sworn off leather long ago, but do you know that the shirt you bought from Armani may cost the environment? Shocking, but true. The fashion industry has been posing some major threats to the environment since quite some time now.
Let us start with the issue of water usage. Many parts of the world are already facing severe water shortages, and it is estimated that the situation will get worse in the near future. In this context, it becomes very important to note that by 2030, the fashion industry’s water consumption will grow by 50 percent to 118 billion cubic meters (or 31.17 trillion gallons).
All the major forces of the world are going gaga over reducing carbon footprint. While manufacturing and automobile industries are getting the major heat, it goes almost unnoticed that the carbon footprint of the fashion industry will increase to 2,791 million tons by 2030 and the amount of waste it creates will hit 148 million tons, which is a staggering number to think of. Not just in terms of environmental sustainability, the amount of money and resources that need to be channelized to clean up this huge mess will be equally huge.
To say that industry insiders have turned a blind eye to this issue will be wrong. Many brands are using sustainable cotton initiatives and new dyeing methods to reduce water, energy and chemical use. The supply chain is also being restructured to reduce the consumption of electricity and fuel. The question is, how much of these efforts are translation into number? In a few countries like the UK, the statistics are worth talking about. There has been an 8 percent and 7 percent reduction in the carbon and water footprints respectively, per ton of clothing since 2012. The fact is, fashion is global. The products of the best international brands are no longer limited to the high streets of Paris. Hence the goal is to make significant improvements in every country.
Actually, to blame only the brands would be wrong. Even the consumers are a direct factor for increasing the impact of fashion o the environment. Their demand for clothes is forever on the rise. People keep buying clothes more than they don’t actually need and keep discarding them as soon as trends change, a phenomenon called fast fashion. Some brands have come up with ingenious ways to counter this problem as well. H&M runs an offer across all their stores under which consumers can turn in their used clothes and get coupons to buy at H&M. However, we as customers need to be more proactive. Instead of buying a whole new wardrobe every fall, we can keep classic garments which can be styled differently and worn over the years.
It seems the future of our earth seems to depend upon the creativity and imagination of both brands (to manufacture efficiently) and consumers (to reimagine new looks). Truth be told, this looks like a pretty good excuse to binge watch those styling videos on YouTube you had been saving for later.

No comments