Surprise, surprise, the fashion industry is not in a good place. Fast fashion is the world’s second-largest polluter behind oil. The fashion industry is also responsible for 8-10% of global carbon emissions. That’s more emissions than all international flights and maritime shipping combined.
The fashion industry is also the second-biggest consumer of water worldwide. It takes about 700 gallons of water to produce one cotton t-shirt. That’s enough water for one person to drink 8 cups per day for 3 ½ years. We’re over here worried about eating almonds, meanwhile, we’re not even thinking about the clothes we buy.
In addition to consuming lots of water, the fashion industry pollutes water with textile dying, the world’s second-largest polluter of water. Water leftover from the dying process is often dumped into streams, lakes, and rivers. All in, the fashion industry is responsible for 20% of all industrial water pollution worldwide.
Finally, millions of tons of synthetic microfibers are released into the ocean each year. And we’re not slowing down. Since 2000, clothing production has roughly doubled. Doubled. In 20 years!
How we use our clothing also has major impacts on the planet. From 2000 to 2014, according to McKinsey and Company, as a whole, we bought 60% more clothing. Our consumption has gone way up. But what’s really terrifying is that we are also using the products less. In that same time period, we kept our garments for half as long. So not only are we buying more, but we’re wasting more.
Both brands and consumers need to be aware of their impact. Brands are responsible for their production practices and need to step up to seek out the most environmentally sound methods. It’s a brand's responsibility to put the environment first and make decisions that are values-driven.
In an effort to spread awareness about the fashion industry's impact, we're offering this guide to how you can buy better, consume less and treat your clothing well so that it lasts.
When we think about what makes a product truly sustainable, we must think about the beginning of its lifecycle, how it was produced, where was it made, who made it, what chemicals were involved and we must think about its end of the lifecycle; what am I doing with this product once I’m through with it, where is it going. Additionally, we must also consider the middle point: how we utilize the product, how long we keep it, how we care for it, how we treat it.
In this guide, we'll evaluate each of the three stages of the clothing lifecycle.
#1) How products are produced:
What to consider when purchasing.
#2) How we use our products. How to take care of your clothing and how your everyday actions matter.
#3) End of the lifecycle and how we dispose of our products. Right now 85% of all the textiles that get produced worldwide end up in landfills. We can reduce our impact by reducing what we throw away.
This may seem dire but education brings awareness which spreads solutions. And when we know better, we can do better. Your impact matters! Go out and be the leader you wish to see in the world!
Our swimwear is produced in the US from recycled fabrics. We have ethical production and manufacturing practices, utilize compostable or recycled packaging, and offset all of our carbon. We're proud to be a leader in our space and do everything possible to reduce our impact. Read more about our sustainability efforts here and shop our recycled swimwear.
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