Undressing the ocean

Hanging by a thread

The global fashion industry has a huge footprint on our ocean and planet

Estimates suggest between 2 – 10% of global CO2e emissions come from the textiles industry, which also uses enough water for 5 million people to live on. 

Many clothes are also made using plastic fibres such as polyester and nylon that release particles into the ocean every time they are washed . So many of these clothes are made that 15% of the worlds’ plastic is used by the textile industry.

These are big numbers, but we together we can start to affect change.

15% of the worlds’ plastic is used by the textile industry

Source: Ethical Consumer

How do you change an industry?

Like most things, fashion is based on demand. The millions of cheap, poor-quality clothes made around the world are churned out because we buy them.

The direct and indirect impacts of fast-fashion production are causing serious consequences. By buying less and buying better, we can lessen our impact on natural resources. Simple choices in the brands we buy and the materials we wear will have major impact on the industry.

A change to organic natural fibres for example, reduces the need for harsh dyes and chemicals as well as reduces the amount of plastic in the form of synthetic fibres. These can make their way into the rivers and ocean as well as our own bodies, in the air we breathe, the food we eat and the water we drink.

Up to 10% of global CO2 emissions comes from the textile industry

Source: Ethical Consumer

Buy conscious

Taking action is not difficult, there are lots of brands making stylish, quality, ocean-friendly and ethical clothing. You just have to look for them. 

Check the label and look out for these three things: 

  1. It uses recycled materials from either the manufacturing process or from post-consumer waste. 

  2. It has recyclable materials so when the consumer discards your product, the label can be recycled. 

  3. It contains renewable materials, which means it comes from resources that are quickly replenished, such as corn, sugarcane, cotton and bamboo.

But you also don’t have to go and change your wardrobe overnight. Why not repair some items you have already, or swap them with friends to refresh your look. 

There are also second-hand markets in the street and online to buy and sell and make the most out of the items you and others already own. 

There are lots of ways to make a difference when it comes to your clothes. 

Simple, easy and affordable, all whilst working to restore and protect the ocean.  

What’s stopping you from driving change?

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Other, easy actions you can take

Buy less

Ask yourself, do I really need this?

Revisit old friends

Rummage in your drawers and find clothes you may have forgotten about.

Develop a capsule wardrobe

Look up the idea, it’s super cool! Basically, everything you own works together, reducing the amount you need. Now that is style!

Tell your friends

If you have found any of the stats interesting, tell your friends. Impress them with your knowledge!

Speak up

You can still use social channels to raise awareness of the issue and encourage others to follow in your footsteps.

More actions

GenO Ezine

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