The environmental impact of fashion, facts.

Fashionopolis Facts
Reading Time: 3 minutes

I started reading the book “Fashionopolis in 2020 (The Price of fast fashion and the future of clothes)” by Dana Thomas due to my curiosity and passion for the industry. But also to explore the environmental impact of fashion. Most of you know I have been working as a fashion model in Venezuela for almost ten years! Some people call me Miss Fire. (between us) I would like you to think of me as a Fashion Geek.

I was looking for the bigger picture of the fashion industry. And I found out much more than that. Sustainability in fashion clothing was the most relevant Fashionopolis topic. Is Fashion bad for the environment? I started questioning myself. Things like the average shopper buys 68 items of clothing while wearing them about seven times per year astonished me. And I could easily include myself in that bunch of people. However, you won’t believe my shopping behaviour has shifted after reading this book and informing myself a little bit more on the topic. And now, I am here to transmit with you these relevant fashionopolis facts.

What consequences does the fashion industry have on the environment?

The negative environmental impact of fashion that took my breath away while reading “Fashionopolis” are (spoiler alert on):

  • Clothing production:
    • Conventional cotton uses an average of 10,000 litres of water to grow and other 23,000 litres of water when processing one t-shirt and a pair of shorts.
    • Traditionally finishing a pair of jeans requires an average of 70 litres of water, 1.5 KW of energy, plus another 150 grams of chemicals. The world’s total jean production yearly could power the city of Munich for a year long. 
    • Conventional leather production is accountable for heavy metal usage as chromium, which transforms into toxic waste for humans.
  • Our daily laundry: a single 6kg domestic wash has the potential to release as many as 700,000 microfibers (If your items are made of plastics, then we will name them as microplastics fibres).
  • Fair workers pay: currently, workers still get paid less than the minimum wage with no health conditions, while undocumented and working in clandestine factories”.

“Based on a Boston Consulting study, if the global population keeps growing to 8.5 billion by 2030 and per capita grows at 2% per year in the developed world, and 4% in the developing world the consumption habits will grow from 62 to 102 million tons of clothes yearly”.

The most sustainable option, as you might have heard is to be naked. However, fashion is unavoidable its artistic expression reflects our style, our age, our attitude and, it changes over the years because our behaviour and personality experience slight changes too. But, the earth has been the victim of all this broken fashion economy.

Realising the environmental impact of the fashion industry…

“In 2019, the World Bank estimated that the sector is responsible for nearly 20% of all industrial water pollution annually. It releases 10% of the carbon emissions in our air, and 1 kg of cloth could generate up to 23 kg of greenhouse gases”.

And as much as yours, my wardrobe still is full of garments from fast fashion & slow fashion. And what I mean by fast or non-sustainable fashion is the production of trendy, inexpensive items in vast majorities while using cheap labour and manufacturing cost mainly from the poorest countries.

The world promotes unsustainable living. Everything you own has a carbon footprint, one higher than the other. But in our run of being great humans with such an imperfect world, knowing that most fashion brands are sustainably broken. My advice is to avoid the Cinderella syndrome caused by Instagram #OOTD. The syndrome where we donโ€™t want to be seen in IG with the same clothes. I believe we can do better than that.

Instead, let’s promote sustainable fashion ideas by recreating outfits with our wardrobe pieces and using transcendent sustainable styles.

Versatility is always sustainable! See how I style my cream suit trousers below from casual to formal โค

The environmental impact of fashion

Hasta luego #FashionGeek

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