While my Monday posts are for good news, today's post is not going to make you feel good, and I am intentionally writing this to make you feel bad. #sorrynotsorry
Throughout my journey of attending sustainability conferences, panels, reading articles, and from classes at FIT - I've learned quite a bit, I'd say more than most know - the information below is going to make you feel sad, frustrated or maybe even confused. I hope that you take those emotions and decide to help be a part of the change rather than continue some of the bad habits you have that you may of not even knew were bad.
Today, I am sharing with you facts about the fashion industry that you may not know. Later on, in my blog, I will discuss solutions and put ideas out there how we can continue this movement towards change. I hope this fuels something inside of you, as some of these facts and statements did for me.
- 97% of clothing sold in the U.S is made in other countries.
- More the 15 million tons of textile waste is generated each year in the U.S.
- A garment made out of polyester releases nearly 500,000 microplastics into the washing machine EVERY wash. These microplastics tend to end up in the ocean and accidentally inhaled by fish and other sea life.
- 17.6 million tons of plastic enter the ocean each year. The Hudson river contributes 300 million microfibers and plastics into the Atlantic Ocean every day.
- It takes approximately 20,000 liters of water to produce a single pair of cotton jeans.
- In a study on dolphins and microplastics, 100% of all samples taken from dolphins tested positive for microplastics inside the dolphin.
- Majority of women working in factories making the clothes we buy make less than $3/day. Think twice about your "women empowerment" t-shirt you just bought.
-Most of the clothes we donate end up getting sent to developing countries like Haiti and Kenya. While it seems like it's not a bad idea, it hurts the countries economy more than helps them. They have no way to dispose of all the clothes they do not need. This also kills local businesses because of the mass amounts that are being shipped.
- 150 million trees are cut down every year to create fibers like Rayon and Viscose. This is causing a major impact on rainforests. Not only does it affect the species that live in these forests but it also accelerates climate change. Forests have the greatest ability to reduce the number of carbon emissions that are being released.
- In the past 50 years, 17% of the Amazon rainforest has been destroyed.
- More than 90% of leather tannery workers in Bangladesh suffer from some type of respiratory or skin disorder due to the number of harsh chemicals and lack of proper protection being used.
- Half of the fast fashion clothing that is produced in a year, is disposed of that same year.
-10.5 million tons of clothing get sent to landfills every year, most of these clothes can and will not decompose until hundreds of years if ever
I believe that the first step in the right direction towards any kind of change is education. I can understand how you may feel discouraged about making a change because "you‘re only one person". But I am only one person too, and if everyone can come together and make mindful changes in our personal lives, and demand them from the bigger corporations - they will have no choice but to become more sustainable.
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** Statistics and facts stated above are from a collection of notes I've taken from industry professionals, classes, documentaries, and sustainable brands websites. If you would like to know more information,
or the credibility behind any of these statements please reach out to me and I can provide more information.