Every month we are focusing on an environmental issue that we think needs a larger voice. We will aim to teach and educate as well as give helpful and easy suggestions for you to try at home and promote some amazing small businesses!
This month our focus was the Textiles Industry.
What is the Textiles Industry? The textile industry is primarily concerned with the design, production and distribution of yarn, cloth and clothing. The raw material may be natural, or synthetic using products of the chemical industry.
Is it good for our environment? Unfortunately this is not a simple answer. The amount of clothes bought in the EU per person has increased by 40% in the last decade. Throughout this month we will be discussing the impact that this is having on our environment and things you can do, from the ease of your home.
Here are some amazing and interesting facts:
2,700 liters - The amount of water it takes to make a single cotton t-shirt
80% less - The average amount of water it takes to make a single organic cotton t-shirt
765,000 LITERS - The amount of water saved per ton by using recycled cotton
69% - Growing cotton accounts for 69% of the water footprint of textile fibre production
10,000-20,000 - Just one kilogram of cotton takes as much as 10,000-20,000 litres of water to produce
16% and 7% - Conventional cotton uses approximately 16% of the world’s insecticides and 7% of pesticides
How does the fashion industry affect us? - A 2017 report found that, in 2015 alone, the fashion industry consumed 79 billion cubic meters of water — enough to fill 32 million Olympic-size swimming pools. That figure is expected to increase by 50% by 2030. It's a staggering amount since Earth’s water resources are running low.
Bamboo: Made from a grass, the growth of the plant is achieved without any watering, pesticides, or insecticides
Hemp: It is usually stronger than cotton, and it requires less water and less surface, but a lot of energy is necessary in the transformation process.
Lyocell: Similar to bamboo, but made from a wood. The wood grows on a limited amount of land, and it does not require much watering, pesticides and insecticides. However, it is a man-made fibre and the harvest demands a lot of energy and manpower.
Does the POPULATION have an impact on the textiles industy: If the global population rises as expected to 8.5 billion people by 2030, it is projected that the overall apparel consumption will rise by 63%, from 62 million tons today to 102 million tons in 2030. This means that the demand for clothing with increase at an alarming rate. Which clothes we buy and where we buy our clothes from is a personal choice. So it's up to us to make the best choices for our environment. Choosing more sustainable brands will aid the impact the textiles industry has. By taking greater care of our clothes or choosing better quality garments, we can extend the lifespan of our clothes. Did you know that if we extend the life cycle of our garments (especially cotton ones) by nine months, we can reduce the water footprint of our clothing by about 5-10%? This may not sound like a lot, but every little helps. Imagine if we all did this?
ORGANIC COTTON - The fabric has the same quality as conventional cotton but not the negative impact on the environment. Organic cotton addresses most of the environmental challenges which conventional cotton production faces.
RECYCLED COTTON - Recycled cotton prevents additional textile waste and requires far fewer resources than conventional or organic cotton. This makes it a great sustainable option. Unfortunately the production of recycled cotton is still rather limited.
Here are a list of some amazing small businesses that make an incredible difference:
Feel Good Fashion
We will ever make progress? This is a never knowing question really but here's what the Executive of Greenpeace has to say - “We have made great progress in phasing out hazardous chemicals that pollute our waterways and environment — there has been a major paradigm shift in the clothing industry triggered by the Detox campaign, which now takes responsibility for their production instead of just their products,” said Bunny McDiarmid, Executive Director of Greenpeace International.
We feel hopeful towards the future and the impact that the Textiles Industry has on our planet. Do you?
Please do let us know if you have any questions or comments on this blog!