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THE TRUE COST OF FASHION - IS IT WORTH P(L)AYING WITH NATURE?

by ADKN |

Fashion… the constantly-present entity that offers the chance to enrich one’s life, the chance to be different or to fit in as part of a greater movement, and, ultimately, the chance to express our true selves regardless of the norms society portrays. But, as we all know, what’s worth having does not come easy.

The freedom fashion offers us is ultimately paid for in other forms, but definitely either directly or indirectly through our own actions and decisions. So why not be more conscious, more careful, and more considerate to the true costs hidden behind our everyday ‘covers’? Fashion gives us the power to be who we aspire, so why not use that power for good? Why not take a look at what lurks behind the majority of popular brands and understand what the production of the simplest garment costs us, what it costs our ecosystem? The harsh truth is that, regardless of these facts being accurate, very little is done to improve the situation. We intend to make a drastic change, transforming fashion into a better place.

Water Usage

Did you know that the fashion industry is the 2nd largest user of water in the world? To put things into perspective, to produce the simplest garment - a T-shirt - we’d be sacrificing one person’s 3-year’s worth of water consumption. The production of a pair of jeans, would equal to the amount one would drink in a time frame of 5-6 years, that’s 7,000 litres (Greenpeace). That shines a light on things, doesn’t it? It may not be something you notice today, or perhaps not in your lifetime at all, yet the future generations will feel the consequences.

“WE ARE NOT ABOVE NATURE, WE ARE A PART OF NATURE.”

— Jennifer Nini

“ONCE PEOPLE BECOME KNOWLEDGEABLE AND PASSIONATE ABOUT ECOLOGICAL ISSUES AND SEE HOW THEIR DAY-TO-DAY ACTIONS IMPACT THE FUTURE, THEY DON’T GO BACK.”

— Saloni, EcoEnclose

Waste

15-20% of all square meters of materials gets wasted during production due to poor practices. 90% of these could easily be recycled, reused or donated. About 3 in 4 garments end up in landfills. Greenpeace states that 20% of these garments were never worn. Next time you’re clearing out your wardrobe, go ahead and give your unwanted garments a new life and donate or recycle.

We wear our clothes an average of 4 times (Fair Fashion Guide). The top main reasons for throwing out clothes were found to be lack of trendiness (64%) and change of personal taste and style (40%) (Greenpeace). This constant attempt of keeping up with trendy, cool, in-style garments is harming the environment more than we will ever realise. Wearing clothing 50 times instead of the fast-fashion average 4 reduces carbon emissions by 400% per item, per year. Modern society needs to make a lifestyle change, and fast.

Pollution

The fashion industry almost takes the medal on another scale, being the 2nd largest water polluter after the oil industry. Approximately 20% of industrial water pollution is caused by dying and treating textiles (True Cost Movie). For example, in China (one of the largest garment manufacturers), 80% of the groundwater from major river basins is hazardous and not suitable for human contact (The Guardian).

Production of cotton and caring for the farms accounts for a quarter of the world’s pesticide usage and uses significantly larger amounts of water than more eco-friendly alternatives of this popular raw material. Worth considering a change, especially when knowing that majority of cotton found in nowadays garments has been genetically modified.

“YOU CANNOT GET THROUGH A SINGLE DAY WITHOUT HAVING AN IMPACT ON THE WORLD AROUND YOU. WHAT YOU DO MAKES A DIFFERENCE, AND YOU HAVE TO DECIDE WHAT KIND OF DIFFERENCE YOU WANT TO MAKE.”

— Jane Goodall

So, allow me to sum it all up in one question - do you truly know what you are wearing?

It’s time for us to embrace a more conscious lifestyle.

One small step, one small change at a time. Every little bit counts.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WISH TO SEE IN THE WORLD.”
— Mahatma Gandhi

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