Did you know that over 60 percent of our clothes are made from synthetic materials and that each year up to 80 billion such garments are produced?
The production of synthetic textiles i.e. non eco-friendly clothing contributes significantly to the emission of greenhouse gases, which have devastating effects on the environment.
Additionally, synthetic clothes contain microfibers that are released into the water every time they are washed. The microfibers are too small to be filtered out by waste treatment system so they eventually make it to rivers, lakes and oceans where they completely disrupt the marine environment.
Our over production, over consumption and rapid discard of synthetic clothes has contributed to the fashion industry being one of the biggest maritime polluters in the world.
This means that making smart fashion choices i.e. adapting to slow fashion and ethical living principles can alleviate the impact our clothes are having on the environment. Here are some meaningful choices you can make:
Choose natural fibers
Buy clothes made from ethical clothing brands that use environmentally friendly natural fibers. Opt for cotton, bamboo linen, jute, pinatex, silk or wool. Natural fibers are biodegradable while synthetic ones are not.
Natural fibers are grown sustainably without pesticides, fertilizers or modified seeds, which have been shown to be harmful to the environment and those who grow these fibers.
Clothes made from natural fiber i.e. ethical clothing, are also more durable than those made from synthetics. Choosing natural fiber clothes means a reduction in consumption rates and this will minimize the impact the fashion industry is having on our water bodies.
Donate & re-sell
Instead of throwing out your clothes, why not donate or resell these. Clothes that are thrown out end up in massive landfills and runoff from these landfills always makes its way to our waterways where it harms maritime biodiversity.
Today, there are plenty of channels to sell or give out unwanted clothes, both online and through local stores. Selling and donating clothes increases the life cycle of these clothes and contributes immensely to the environment by reducing the number of clothes put into landfills, minimizing toxic runoffs, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions from these landfills.
Buy less, but quality
Donating or selling unwanted clothes does not solve the problem completely. The secondhand market already has too many clothes because people are still buying more and more clothes are being produced too.
A smart fashion choice is to buy quality clothes that will not need to be discarded every so often. Buying from sustainable fashion brands expensive so you may need to buy fewer items, but such an approach goes a long way in minimizing the impact that fast fashion is having on the environment.
Imagine if more people could opt to buy eco-friendly clothing made from natural fibers? These clothes are more durable, meaning you wouldn’t need to keep buying and the impact on the environment, including our waterways would be alleviated because the production of natural fibers does not adverse environmental effects.
The apparel industry is increasingly polluting our water bodies but the consumer can make a significant difference with the choices we make. Just a few changes to your lifestyle (and your closet) can make a huge difference.