Why Embracing Slow Fashion Could Reduce Pressure On The Natural World. Huffington Post, December 13, 2016.
The fashion industry is the second most environmentally damaging industry in the world. With more than 60 percent of apparel being manufactured in developing countries, it’s highly likely that the very garments you’re wearing right now have not only been made using extremely harmful production methods, but have travelled half way across the planet in cargo ships powered by fossil fuels.
While more and more general consumers are starting to take the implications of carbon emissions seriously, the fashion industry is lagging behind. Green and fair trade designers utilising domestic talent and sustainable technology may be gaining traction among small niches; however, the majority of large scale fashion houses still source cheap labour from overseas and use unethical manufacturing processes.
The Scale of the Problem
Over 25 percent of the world’s insecticides are used for cotton farming; one fifth of the world’s water pollution stems from fabric treatment; and each year in America over 10.5 million tons of clothing goes straight to landfills. We should really be scrutinising the fashion industry just as much as we scrutinise the burning of fossil fuels and cattle farming if we are to tackle climate change effectively.
The trend-driven nature of fashion causes products to become outdated and virtually unsaleable in a heartbeat; these items are often discarded. When including pre and post-purchase waste over 85 percent of clothing ends up in the ground. Basically, we’re producing far more than we need.
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