The climate crisis is top of mind for many people internationally. The issue has been passionately taken up by youth activists like Greta Thunberg, Isra Hersi and Autumn Peltier and just last month the Global Climate Strike saw a record 7.6 million participants making it the largest environmental mobilization in history.
We often associate individual environmental activism with carpooling, eating less meat, or quitting the use of disposable plastic. All of these lifestyle changes are impactful and important, but it may surprise you that the fashion industry emits more carbon than international flights and maritime shipping combined, making up 10% of humanity's carbon emissions!
The more we understand the environmental consequences of our fashion choices, the better equipped we will be to make more sustainable purchasing decisions. Business Insider published an article last week outlining how the fashion industry impacts our planet and we were excited to share that information with our community:
- While people bought 60% more garments in 2014 than in 2000, they only kept the clothes for half as long.
- A lot of this clothing ends up in the dump. The equivalent of one garbage truck full of clothes is burned or dumped in a landfill every second.
- Washing clothes releases 500,000 tons of microfibers into the ocean each year — the equivalent of 50 billion plastic bottles.
- A 2017 report estimated that 35% of all microplastics — very small pieces of plastic that never biodegrade — in the ocean came from the laundering of synthetic textiles like polyester.
- The fashion industry is also the second-largest consumer of water worldwide.
- Textile dyeing is the world's second-largest polluter of water, since the water leftover from the dyeing process is often dumped into ditches, streams, or rivers.
- All in all, the fashion industry is responsible for 20% of all industrial water pollution worldwide.
These statistics may be a bit shocking, but there is hope for the industry! Wearthy has partnered with awesome brands committed to environmentally-friendly fashion: