Fashion Facts: The Impact of Clothing on the Environment

Have you ever taken a moment to think about the clothes you wear? Sure, you may spend your days trying to come up with the perfect outfit, wondering whether a piece is trendy or not and whether that colour looks good on you or makes you fat. But here’s the thing. The clothes you wear do not only affect you but the world as a whole as well. To better understand the global impact of clothing, here are some facts about how it affects the environment.

Fashion Is the Second Most Polluting Industry

It’s a fact that we live in a “fast fashion” world where low-priced clothing is produced in high quantities. The production of “fast fashion” clothing is not exactly eco-friendly either. In fact, the textile industry is directly responsible for 6.7% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, making it the second most polluting industry after oil.

The Alternative – Ethical Fashion?

In light of this, some fashion companies have become more mindful about how their clothing is produced. As a result, they are often using fabrics which are sourced in a sustainable way, thus lowering the impact on the environment. With that being said, a sustainable cardigan, for instance, is the one produced out of renewable or recycled materials, free of chemicals and artificial dyes – and most importantly biodegradable.

Cotton Is Bad for the Environment

Although cotton is a natural material that the majority of our clothes are made of, in reality, it has adverse effects on the environment. For one, cotton production requires a lot of water which is a serious threat for countries that face water shortages, such as India. Additionally, a great number of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers are used on cotton which can contaminate the soil, the water, and damage the ecosystem. Estimates show that 22.5% of insecticide use in the world is due to cotton production.

Bamboo, on the Other Hand …

The good news is that there’s another natural fabric that comes with all the good sides of cotton and none of the bad. That fabric is bamboo. Bamboo is a fast-growing plant that uses only a minimal amount of water and requires no pesticide use because it contains a natural antimicrobial and protective agent called “bamboo kun”. This makes bamboo the best fabric as far as the environment is concerned. But a sustainable cardigan, shirt, or underwear made out of bamboo can also offer many benefits for the consumer as well. As the material is proven to be hypo-allergenic, temperature-regulating, fast-drying, exquisitely soft, and durable – what is there not to love?