What springs to mind when you think of the second-largest consumer and polluter of water? You would be correct if you were thinking of the fashion business. The tension between natural resources and innovative apparel has emerged in recent years. We may face an ultimatum by 2025: either make garments or lose access to drinking water.
Fortunately, thanks to the surge of used, vintage, and consignment businesses, we may not have to make a choice. The popularity of thrifting allows customers to purchase products in good condition. Shopping at thrift stores entails fewer environmental implications. The best part? You get them at cheaper rates, allowing you to spend extra bucks on Woo Online Casino.
Vintage-appropriate Levi’s are a magical discovery. It’s the product of hours spent digging through consignment and second-hand stores. But, they are well worth the effort owing to their great quality. Moreover, choosing a single pair of previously worn jeans saves over 1,000 gallons of water. Combining these pants with a lightly worn cotton T-shirt will save an extra 700 gallons of water.
Choosing used clothing and spending the time to filter through the ever-changing new finds gives customers joy. Simultaneously, it helps to conserve part of the 16 million tons of textiles that would otherwise wind up in landfills. While the demand to be fashionable grows, so does the quantity of clothing we discard. In the last two decades, the volume of apparel Americans discard has quadrupled. The growth of fast fashion results in around 80 pounds of discarded textiles per person each year.
While the massive amount of clothing going to landfills is staggering, the situation becomes even direr when we consider the entire environmental effect.
Oil is used in the production of fast-fashion clothes. Polyester, nylon, spandex, acrylic, and acetate are made from nonrenewable fossil fuels that biodegrade in 20 to 200 years. In fact, they release dangerous substances like BPA, heavy metals, and formaldehyde into the ecosystem.
When synthetic fabrics are laundered, they lose plastic microfibers. Because microfibers are too minute to be filtered out, they wind up in our seas and, subsequently, in our food chain. The number of chemicals permitted by the EPA for use in the dyeing process is 16. Sadly, this accounts for just 10% of all chemicals utilized.
The variety of different chemicals used in textile production is 2,000. If 85% of textiles were recycled rather than discarded, 7.3 million automobiles and their associated carbon emissions would be taken off the road each year. Each year, 20 billion pounds of chemicals are utilized to manufacture textile fibers.
With all this in mind, it’s very easy to think that the end of the world is approaching. But, it’s comforting to know that it’s not too late. The fashion industry is finally taking steps to be more eco-friendly. Thanks to companies like Buffalo Exchange, Reformation, and The RealReal, there’s hope that we can reverse the damage we’ve done. Shop from stores like ThreadUp, Depop, Poshmark, and Crossroads Trading Company and support eco-friendly fashion while indulging in retail therapy.