Image Source: Green Earth Cleaning

A sustainability professional after sunrise. A reader and writer on sustainability after sunset.

Are you aware that the fashion industry is the second largest polluter in this universe after oil? When we talk about pollution, we imagine agriculture industry, coal power plants and industries which pollute water bodies. But often we don’t realize the impact of clothing industry on the environment. According to World Resource Institute –

  • It takes 2700 litres to make one cotton shirt. Which is enough water for one person to drink for 2.5 years.

  • Polyester production for textiles released about 706 billion kg (1.5 trillion pounds) of greenhouse gases in 2015, the equivalent of 185 coal-fired power plants’ annual emissions.

Besides production issues, waste from clothing industry is also scary. More than 15 million tons of used textile waste is generated each year in the United States, and the amount has doubled over the last 20 years and is growing to increase in the years to come. According to Greenpeace, the average person buys 60 percent more items of clothing every year and keeps them for about half as long as 15 years ago, generating a huge amount of waste. 

The above facts clearly highlight that the fashion industry needs to embed sustainability principles. The basic step which everyone needs to take is start measuring their environmental impacts across the value chain and understand areas where they can improve. It is important that clothing makers start altering their business models. Here are few start-ups who are inspirational from their start.

Orange Fiber – World’s first and only brand to produce a patented material from citrus juice byproducts, repurposing them to create beautiful, sensorial fabrics that reshape clothing experience.

Good On You – An online app providing consumers details of over 1000 fashion brands on the social impact of the companies for taking informed decisions. The app provides 5 point score for brands based on their certifications, standards and data sources.

Frumat – The Company uses apples to create clothing material. An industrial waste product called apple pectin is used to make fashion accessories of leather.

Image Source: Green Earth Cleaning


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