What are the impacts of ephemeral fashion on the environment and health?

We are becoming more aware of what we eat and what we put on our bodies in terms of cosmetics and other personal care products. People are becoming more aware of the social or environmental impacts or benefits of their consumption choices. This awareness is also beginning to affect parts of the apparel and fashion industry.

It seems that the fashion industry is going through a number of paths and that some companies are increasingly forced to use transparency and ethical practice as part of their sales pitch, but to what extent are their claims authentic? ? Most of these clothes have a very short life span. What is the true cost of our choices?

What are the real costs of your clothing choices and what can you do about it?

Follow trends

Right now, we buy 400% more clothes than we did 20 years ago. Fashion wears with it the connotations of seasons, style, capitalism and four fashion shows a year that tell you what to wear. People buy affordable versions as part of ephemeral fashion, which produces 52 micro-seasons a year.

Fair working conditions to challenge the integrity of supply chains are becoming increasingly important, especially since the switch to ephemeral fashions has shifted from natural materials to synthetic petrochemicals.

Who makes our clothes and how does it affect our planet? There are a few reasons why our current fashion and apparel industry is problematic. Aside from crude oil, fashion is the most polluting industry in the world.

The impacts of ephemeral fashion are both environmental and social.

Destructive impacts

Fashion is the largest employer of women around the world, but only 2% of these workers receive a living wage.

It takes 2700 liters of water and 150g of chemicals to create a cotton t-shirt, with 20% of the world’s industrial water used to dye textiles, which affects the water supply and quality for people. people and the environment where dyeing takes place. Most of the mass-produced garments are made from synthetic fibers (many of which contain dangerous chemicals) that are manufactured and sold inexpensively.

A study conducted in 2014 found that 85% of the synthetic materials found on the shores were microfibers, which come from synthetic materials used in clothing. Residual chemicals on clothing include lead, pesticides, insecticides, flame retardants and other known carcinogens, which are found on our larger organ, the skin. What is the solution?

The mass production of jeans using an indigo dye has a huge impact on the environment.

The impacts of ephemeral fashion are both environmental and social.

Support innovation

If we vote with our money and our actions for the world we want to see, then how can we be more aware of what we support or say “no thanks”? Curiously, the approach of being more aware of our clothes is similar to our food: we must buy ethical, natural, local.

There are many researchers, companies and communities working closely with nature, be it hemp, seaweed, pineapple, bamboo and even kombucha to create materials for clothing. All of these innovations and research can be expensive and seldom match the requirements of the ephemeral fashion machine.

Go green with your clothes by recycling or recycling your wardrobe.

Environmental impact

Dyes have a huge impact on our environment, regardless of the materials used. The potential positive impacts of switching to natural dyes include the use of by-products for fuel and compost, which is a great possibility. At present, the use of natural dyes still has negative environmental impacts, including the use of a significant amount of water and the use of chemicals to bind the color to the fabric. However, with more support and research, this could be overcome.

Berkeley researchers have begun to reconsider how the production of denim can be more favorable for the earth. The jeans that are in many cabinets, contain one of the oldest dyes in the world, indigo. Indigo derived from petroleum, like all dyes, has a dark side.

The 40,000 tonnes of indigo used each year pollute rivers, corrode piping in wastewater treatment plants and are toxic to fish and other aquatic organisms. With three billion pairs of jeans manufactured around the world each year, Berkeley researchers are exploring other options for modifying the gene and bacteria to produce indican, the blue color required for denim.

It is time to develop the new era of sustainable fashion where clothes are both ethical and produced with quality.

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