The Environmental Impact of the Clothing Industry and How We Can Make It Better - Part 1

Today we live in a digital world where we want the clothes (and products) that influencers wear as well. This idolization and intense pressure on appearance has led to a consumer society. People want the latest and best products right after their market introduction, where the old clothing is quickly thrown away - but still functional - for the new.

People today own more clothing than previous generations. Time, convenience and a lack of sewing and repair skills play a role for many people in the decision to throw away old clothes and buy new ones. However, many do not realise the impact the clothing industry has on the environment. Take some time now to learn a little more about it, so that next time you buy clothes more consciously.

The different types of fabrics and their impact:
Most of the clothing fibres that make up clothing products have a serious imoact on the environment.

Cotton: Cotton uses more chemical pesticides than any other crop. The plants also need a lot of water to prevent the crop from growing, which makes it difficult to work in dry periods. Cotton farmers have created several diseases that have been linked through research to the number of chemicals used on the plants.

Polyester: Polyester, which has a plastic base, is the most widely used fabric in the clothing industry. However, what many people do not know is that when polyester is washed, microfibres are constantly being secreted. These fibres easily pass through water filtration systems and can cause damage to wildlife, which in turn is harmful to humans.

Other non-natural fibres: Other synthetic fibres release gases during production, and that gas is considerably more harmful than carbon dioxide emissions.

Many of the fabrics in the garment industry are also saturated with chemical dyes that are harmful to workers and their environment. It is also important to keep in mind that even the most environmentally friendly substances have an impact on the environment. This is due to the transport needed to get the product to you.

What can we do?
There are several actions we can take to reduce the impact of the garment industry on the environment.

Find environmentally friendly fabrics to wear, including organic cotton, hemp and bamboo. You can also do the following so that you buy clothes less often:
  • Wear your clothes longer. Unlike the basic clothing you need to change daily, you can easily wear trousers and other clothes for days before washing them. This will make your clothes last longer and wear out less quickly.
  • Re-use your clothes. You can change them to create new garments or use them for decorations, cleaning rags and more.
  • Recycle your clothes. Many people forget that you can recycle clothes, so they go to the garbage instead.
  • Donate to people in need. There are local organizations that collect clothing to give to people who can't afford it. This way you don't have to feel guilty about throwing away a garment, just because it doesn't fit or because you are bored. Someone else will be able to enjoy it too.
  • Trade with friends. You can also get your friends together to swap clothes you don't want anymore. This helps a handful of you to have new clothes without spending the money and harming the environment.

Wearing garments with pure silver will help in getting us there. Wear them longer, wash them less and still stay healthy. 

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