Oh fast fashion, how I love to hate you!
As a former fast fashion junkie, I cannot judge anyone for the Zara or H&M hanging in their wardrobes. However, my goal is to help convince you to stop buying fast fashion in the future by sharing the hard facts about the underside of the industry. Ignorance is NOT bliss, especially when human welfare and the health of our planet are at stake.
Here 5 Hard Truths About the Fast Fashion Industry:
1 – It takes 2,700 liters of water to produce 1 cotton shirt, which is equivalent to 18 full bathtubs or enough water for one person to drink at least eight cups per day for three-and-a-half years. The labor often includes children pulled out of school to help adults meet unrealistic quotas, and still, the farmers are the ones who continue to suffer financially year to year. Choose organic cotton T-shirts that consume less water than conventional cotton and emit less CO2 than synthetic fibers. Organic cotton is grown without fertilizers or chemical pesticides and its fiber is bleached with hydrogen peroxide and does not use chlorine.
2 – It has been estimated that In a single year, one global fashion brand will use the same amount of water as 43,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools. In Uzbekistan, the world’s 2nd largest exporter of cotton, cotton farming irrigation used up so much water from the Aral Sea that it dried up after 50 years. Once one of the world’s four largest lakes, the Aral Sea is now little more than desert and a few small ponds.
3 – Of the more than 100 billion garments produced each year, 20% are not sold and are either buried, shredded, or incinerated, so as to not lower the brand’s product value or image with ‘sale’ items. That is 20,000,000 garments wasted every year. Up to 85% of textiles go into landfills each year. That’s enough to fill the Sydney harbor annually. The average American throws away around 81 pounds of clothing yearly.
4 – 93% of surveyed brands are not paying their garment workers a living wage. The 2020 Fashion Transparency Index found that only 5 of the 250 large brands surveyed (2%) “publish a time-bound, measurable roadmap or strategy for how they will achieve a living wage for all workers across their supply chains”. Not only do these people have to work exhausting hours, but the payment they get is far from fair. This leads to a majority of garment workers who are unable to afford life’s basic necessities.
5 – Today, 65% of the global apparel industry is synthetic fiber-based. Synthetic clothing is derived from petroleum, meaning plastic-based clothing. Of the nearly seventy thousand synthetic compounds in use today, less than 2 percent have been tested for their impact on human health. When we know that our skin, the largest permeable organ in the human body, absorbs material surroundings and deposits toxicity directly into our bloodstream it is alarming.
These are just a few examples of hard truths about the fast fashion industry. Chez SANNA, we believe that it is important for each consumer to be aware and held accountable for their purchasing power. Knowledge is power, so share this article with a friend you know who can’t seem to kick their fast fashion addiction – we believe impact relies on the numbers, after all!
Photo Credit: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2276053/