There has been a tempting array of newness in the world of fashion. It becomes very difficult to hold on to our old clothes and keep on wearing them when there are so many options available at the mall. Plus, with the advent of online shopping, people are purchasing fashion items like never before. But, while you are busy adding items to your cart, have you ever stopped and thought that a lot of resources go into making so many clothes.
As consumers, we need to keep track of the carbon footprints being left behind by the fashion industry. We know that the sale season is here, and you have been waiting for it with bated breath, but before that, let us discuss the environmental impacts of fast fashion.
How Does Fast Fashion Impact The Environment?
1. The Use Of Toxic Chemicals: We are floored by the bright hues of the fabrics and prints appeal to us. However, have you ever wondered how much toxins to these colors and dyes produce? Here’s news for you: Toxic dyes, are the second-largest water pollutants. Yes, after agriculture, if there is anything that is polluting fresh water, it is dye. They release toxic fumes, which are hazardous to all living beings.
2. Water Contamination: Many studies have proved that wastewater supremely toxic and hazardous to the ecosystem. A lot of these chemicals used in producing garments are carcinogenic and can disrupt hormonal levels in both humans and animals.
3. Polyester Is Not Your Friend: While shopping, you will notice that most of the clothes hanging from the racks have one thing in common, and that is Polyester. Polyester happens to be the most popular fabric in the world of fashion. It tends to shed microfibers which add to the level of plastic in the oceans. These microfibers, though extremely minute in size, pose a huge threat to aquatic life.
Planktons eat the microfibers and then they make their way up in the food chain. To do your bit, it is important to divert your attention from polyester garments and switch to other fabrics. Cotton may be biodegradable, but, it requires a lot of water during the growing stages.
In such a case scenario, it is always better to embrace fabrics like hemp. Hemp is, hands down, the most environmentally friendly fabric. It is durable, comfortable and does not require a lot of natural resources to grow. Brands like B-label, have made hemp clothing fashionable and accessible to common people.
Read more on 8 mind-boggling benefits of hemp clothing.
4. Water Crisis: With the amount of clean water being depleted by the fashion industry, we might soon face a water crisis. A lot of water goes into producing textiles, especially during the manufacturing phase. To make matters worse, a lot of manufacturing work is done in smaller countries where environmental laws are not stringent enough. This means that untreated water from factories is dumped into freshwater bodies like rivers and lakes.
5. Landfills, Landfills, And Landfills: You may be buying a lot of clothes, and you also may be discarding a lot of them to make room for new ones. Ever wondered where did all those old clothes go? Well, they find themselves in landfills. When you toss your clothes and throw them away, chances are that they may be sitting in landfills for very many years!
As per the news, 8% of the clothes sold in the USA, find themselves in garbage dumps. Did you know that Polyester can take up to 200 years to decompose? So while the fabric is sitting in landfills, it releases microplastics in the soil, to pollute the nearby area.
6. Unethical Treatment Of Factory Workers: Ever wondered why fast fashion is so cheap? How is the brand being able to sell you something so pretty, for 50% off? This factor is a very hush-hush topic in the fashion industry.
Clothes are being produced at the lowest cost possible. The people who work hard to mass-produce your clothes are most probably being paid the lowest wages. These people work in bad conditions which are often dangerous.
7. Animal Livestock Damage For Fashion: Ever wondered what the stylish tan, leather bag that you carry every day was once a cow’s skin? Tanneries pose a huge threat to the environment. Not only does leather tanning require a lot of water, chemicals, and other resources, but it has a huge impact on the lives of cattle.
8. Carbon Footprints: Like all other industries, the fashion industry pollutes the air. With factories mass-producing so many products, they give out fumes which pollute the environment like no other. Plus, all those clothes which are produced but not sold lie wasted. Some of them are compressed into 1000-pound bales and exported to third-world countries or they become solid waste with the potential to clog different spaces.
Visit blabel.in to make an eco-friendly choice!