MAIN ISSUES ARE RELATED TO:

 

WASTE

OVERCONSUMPTION

OVERSHOOT

EMISSIONS

WORKERS EXPLOITATION

COMMUNICATION/LIFESTYLE

ANIMALS RIGHTS

LEGISLATIONS

 

SOME FACTS:

  • Total greenhouse gas emissions from textiles production, at 1.2 billion tonnes annually, are more than those of all international flights and maritime shipping combined (3)

  • Clothing production has more than doubled globally over the last 15 years, and in the UK we’re buying twice as much as we were buying 15 years ago(1)

  • Textiles are the largest source of both primary and secondary microplastics, accounting for 34.8% of global microplastic pollution(1)

  • If a business-as-usual scenario prevails, the apparel industry’s impact will steadily rise over the next 15 years, reaching a projected 49% increase in climate change impact by 2030. That means the apparel industry will emit 4.9 billion tonnes CO2-eq. (6)

OTHER FACTS:

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS

  • Loss of biodiversity due to intensive cultivation of cotton crops (22% of the world’s insecticides and 10% of all pesticides are applied to cotton crops)(1)

  • Textile production is also responsible for the loss of habitat (30% of rayon and Viscose come from pulp sourced from endangered forests)(1)

  • 20% of freshwater pollution comes from textile treatment and dyeing(2)

  • In 2015, the total greenhouse gas emissions from textiles production was estimated at 1.2 billion tonnes annually of CO2 equivalent, more than those of all international flights and maritime shipping combined. (3)

  • The apparel industry alone represents 6.7% of emissions, equivalent to about 3.3 billion tonnes of CO2 (almost the current estimate of the fossil CO2 emission of the EU 3.5 Gt). More than 50% of emissions come from three stages: Dyeing & Finishing, Yarn Preparation, and Fiber Production.(6)

  • If a business-as-usual scenario prevails, the apparel industry’s impact will steadily rise over the next 15 years, reaching a projected 49% increase in climate change impact by 2030. That means the apparel industry will emit 4.9 billion tonnes CO2-eq. (6)

  • Laundry of synthetic textiles (34.8%) is the largest source of release of primary microplastics to the world oceans. Every year, around half a million tonnes of microfibers released by washed garments contribute to ocean pollution – 16 times more than plastic microbeads from cosmetics. (7)

  • While reliable data on global pesticide use in cotton is not readily available, it is certain that mainly hazardous pesticides are still used in cotton production. 

    • While insecticide use declined in some areas of the world following the introduction of GM cotton varieties, it is on the rise again as farmers struggle to control secondary pests like aphids and whitefly. In 2014, cotton accounted for 16% of insecticide sales.

    • Herbicide use in cotton has not substantially declined. In fact, in some countries, the use of GM cotton has been accompanied by an increase in herbicide use (7)

  • For an average wash load of 6 kg, over 700,000 microplastic fibres could be released per wash. (8)

  • Cotton is the world’s single largest pesticide-consuming crop, using 24% of all insecticides and 11% of all pesticides globally, adversely affecting soil and water. (13) (14)

  • Through harsh chemical manufacturing processes and the irresponsible disposal of toxic chemical waste, the denim industry has destroyed rivers and impacted the lives of people who count on these waterways for their survival. (17)

 

UNSUSTAINABILITY

  • It takes between 10,000 and 20,000 litres of water to grow and produce 1kg of cotton (1 shirt and 1 pair of jean) (2)

  • In the UK 30% in average wardrobe has not been worn in a year. (2)

  • In the UK £140m worth of clothing goes to landfill each year(2)

  • In the UK, in 2016 it was estimated that the average piece of clothing lasts for 3.3 years before being discarded. (2)

  • Around 350,000 tonnes of used clothing goes to landfill in the UK each year. Underwear, lone stocks, and out-of-style pieces are the first to be binned. (2)

  • "The textiles system operates in an almost completely linear way - In 2015, it was estimated that global clothing production has more than doubled globally over 15 years.” (3)

  • Worldwide, clothing utilization – the average number of times a garment is worn before it ceases to be used – has decreased by 36% compared to 15 years ago(3)

  • Worldwide, fewer than 1% of garments are recycled into new clothing each year, and 73% of material ends up landfilled or incinerated. (3)

  • Worldwide, fewer than one per cent of garments are recycled into new clothing each year, and only 20 per cent of textiles are recycled at all (4)

  • Extending the life of clothing has a substantial impact. WRAP has found that extending the life of clothes by an extra nine months of active use would reduce the carbon, water, and waste footprints by around 20-30% each and cut the cost in resources used to supply, launder and dispose of clothing by 20%. (5)

  • Global consumption of clothing and footwear is expected to increase by 63% by 2030, from 62 million tonnes in 2015 to 102 million in 2030. (7)

  • Clothing waste is a growing problem worldwide. McKinsey & Company estimated in 2016 that 60% of all clothing produced ends up in incinerators or landfills within a year of being made. (9)

  • 400 billion square meters of textiles are produced annually, of which 60 billion square meters are left on the cutting room floor. (10)

  • The average consumer is now purchasing 60 percent more items of clothing in 2014 compared to 2000, but each garment is kept half as long. (11)

  • The UN says that by 2050 the equivalent of almost three planets could be required to provide the natural resources needed to sustain current lifestyles given the growth in global population. (12)

  • Over 70 million trees are logged every year and turned into fabrics like rayon, viscose, modal and lyocell.” (13)

  • "Nearly 70 million barrels of oil are used each year to make the world’s polyester fiber, which is now the most commonly used fiber in our clothing. But it takes more than 200 years to decompose.” (13)

  • "Fast fashion garments, which we wear less than 5 times and keep for 35 days, produce over 400% more carbon emissions per item per year than garments worn 50 times and kept for a full year.” (13)

  • Most of the garments sold in the UK are produced in Asian countries where labour is cheap. consumers in the UK ‘are getting pleasure and enjoyment from fashion and  that is coming at a cost to workers and the environment in exterritorial, overseas production routes as well as agriculture.’ (15)

  • "Global consumption of clothing and footwear is expected to increase by 63% by 2030, from 62 million tonnes in 2015 to 102 million in 2030.” (15)

  • 70 percent of Asia's rivers and lakes are contaminated by the 2.5 billion gallons of wastewater produced by that continent's textile industry. (16)

  • Garment workers usually work with no ventilation, breathing in toxic substances, inhaling fiber dust or blasted sand in unsafe buildings. The overwhelming majority of workers are women. (18)

  • "The fashion industry is the second biggest polluter of freshwater resources on the planet.” (19)

  • "Extending the life of clothing has a substantial impact. WRAP has found that extending the life of clothes by an extra nine months of active use would reduce the carbon, water, and waste footprints by around 20-30% each and cut the cost in resources used to supply, launder and dispose of clothing by 20%.” (20)

  1. https://www.fashionrevolution.org/resources/fanzine3/

  2. http://www.wrap.org.uk (report: valuing our clothes the cost of UK fashion) 

  3. https://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/assets/downloads/publications/A-New-Textiles-Economy_Full-Report_Updated_1-12-17.pdf

  4. https://www.commonobjective.co/article/the-issues-waste

  5. http://www.wrap.org.uk/sites/files/wrap/Textiles_Market_Situation_Report_2016.pdf

  6. https://quantis-intl.com/measuring-fashion-report-2018/

  7. https://globalfashionagenda.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Pulse-of-the-Fashion-Industry_2017.pdf 

  8. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0025326X16307639

  9. https://cfsd.org.uk/events/bsci-research-fashion1/

  10. https://www.greenpeace.org/international/story/7539/fast-fashion-is-drowning-the-world-we-need-a-fashion-revolution

  11. https://www.wri.org/blog/2019/01/numbers-economic-social-and-environmental-impacts-fast-fashion

  12. https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-consumption-production/

  13. https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2015/12/03/making-climate-change-fashionable-the-garment-industry-takes-on-global-warming/

  14. https://ejfoundation.org/resources/downloads/the_deadly_chemicals_in_cotton.pdf

  15. https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmenvaud/1952/full-report.html#heading-6

  16. https://www.ecowatch.com/new-york-city-flood-protection-2643768909.html

  17. http://riverbluethemovie.eco/the-film/

  18. https://www.sustainyourstyle.org/old-working-conditions

  19. https://www.seastainable.co/blogs/seastainable-blog/airing-dirty-laundry-our-harmful-relationship-with-fast-fashion

  20. https://docplayer.net/37531440-Textiles-market-situation-report-spring-2016.html