Clothing Production And The Planet
Posted on March 11 2019
Fast fashion has its perks when it comes to saving money and filling your wardrobe, but the impact that it is having on our planet can’t be ignored for much longer! At PAMA London we are on a mission to show everyone the benefits of eco-friendly fashion, and today we are going to do that by looking at how the production of clothing is affecting our planet!
The Real Cost of The Latest Trends
It is estimated that the average consumer spends over £600 on clothes each year, equating to somewhere around the 28kg mark! You may think that this is great, and that your wardrobe has never been so diverse for such a small budget, but how many of these items are loved and worn, year after year? And, how many of them simply end up in the bin, destined to join the countless other discarded garments in landfills around the world.
In America alone it is thought that over 10.5 million tons of clothes are going to landfills each year – forcing us to really consider how sustainable this is!
Through the exploitation of the cheap labour market in the east, the cost of fast fashion in the west manages to remain low. With an estimated 40 million workers worldwide churning out the endless supply of cost-effective fashion, the prevalence of questionable ethics in the industry is certainly rife.
The detrimental impact of the fast fashion industry, and the clothing industry in general, does not stop with the workers, and the health of our planet is also suffering.
Production and The Planet
Some fabrics are undeniably more eco-friendly than others, with ordinary polyester and cotton being amongst the worst offenders when it comes to harming the planet. In fact, polyester fibre production alone requires close to 70 million barrels of oil every single year. Additionally, polyester is known to take between 20 and 200 years to decompose!
With so many resources needed to manufacture this fibre, and such a long decomposition time, it is clear to see that the use of polyester in clothes that are rapidly being thrown away is a disaster for our planet!
When it comes to cotton, this fibre is the is the biggest offender in the world in terms of chemical consuming crops. More than 20% of insecticides used globally are involved in cotton production, in addition to more than 10% of all pesticides. Furthermore, when we look at the bigger picture, we can see that more than a quarter of all of the chemicals produced in the world are used by the textile industry in some way!
We must also consider which other resources are being used when billions upon billions of garments are being manufactured each year. In many of the countries where these clothes are being produced, coal is the predominant source for generating power, and the impact that this has on the environment is incredibly damaging.
It can’t be ignored that the clothing industry is responsible for approximately 10% of carbon emissions around the globe. Of course, we must also consider the extensive amounts of other natural resources that are also involved in farming the various crops required, as well as for harvesting, processing and shipping!
The huge carbon footprint of fashion is evident, but what is being done to combat the negative effect this industry is having on our planet?
At PAMA London we believe the best way forwards is to invest in ethical production and eco-friendly resources. This is why we use recycled charcoal bamboo to create our apparel and manufacture it in an eco-friendly way in LA. Our choice to produce our clothing in LA is based in the current innovation in sustainability and understanding of renewable resources that exists there.