With fast fashion still on the rise and the apparel industry being the 2nd highest polluting industry (behind oil) it's time to seriously consider the impact your clothing has on the Earth. The majority of the clothing you buy has been prodcued overseas with 80% of that being made by women between the ages of 18-24. Most garment workers make less than $3 per day, compare that to a fashion CEO who makes more on their lunch break than a worker would make in 18 months. So what's the alternative to supporting fashion brands that take advantage of their workers? To start, consider clothing produced in the USA. American made apparel means workers are making the legal minimum wage of their state, have safe working environments and often enjoy benefits such as health insurance and paid time off. An imported garment is touched by about pairs of hands before being bought by you. In our USA factory in Los Angeles California it's less than 5; someone to cut the pattern, someone to sew the garment, someone to trim and inspect for quality, someone to pack and ship.
While cotton t-shirts are preferable to those made of synthetic materials, consider the fact that it takes 450 liters of water to produce a single t-shirt. That's about what we would drink over the course of 2 years. However, synthetic clothing (most of what's in your closet right now) won't biodegrade. It will sit in landfills for over 200 years, longer if it's plastic. And with over 1,245,000 tons of clothing being sold every year that's a lot of waste sitting in landfills. Approximately 82 million metric tons of GHG emissions come from the production of textiles and leather. Leather goods also create hazordous waste from the chemicals used to treat and tan the skin. This effects the workers and eventually the water supply as the run of chemicals leaches into it. Not to mention the cruel conditions the animals are subjected to before being slaughtered. So what's the best way you can contribute to a healthier future while not wearing a paper bag everyday? Read on to find out.
Start by looking at the amount of clothing you puchase yearly and consider how much of that is something you actually need vesus want. Many of us shop to help with the stresses of daily life but limiting your apparel purchases will not only save you money but also clutter your space less and have less of a negative impact on the environment. If you do need to buy something consider second hand before buying new. You don't need hunt through thrift stores hoping to find something other than an old sweatshirt (but if that's something you enjoy we're here for it and you definietly can score some great pieces if you're willing to look) you can shop online and get great deals on second hand clothing (often designer) that would otherwise be hanging out in a landfill. Take it a step further and instead of throwing away something that has a rip or stain, get it repaired (or do it yourself) and invest in some powerful stain removers. Have old denim jeasn that don't really do it for you? Cut them into shorts or bleach them lighter. Tie dye an old white t-shirt, use a color stripper on anything cotton and then dye it a new color. There are many ways you can breathe new life into existing items in your wardrobe.