Impact of Fashion
Global warming is the rise in Earth’s overall temperature from the increase of greenhouse gases and carbon dioxide is the primary greenhouse gas being emitted. Over 8% of total global greenhouse gas emissions are produced by the apparel/footwear industry and the industry’s CO₂ emissions are projected to increase by more than 60% by 2030. If the industry continues on its current path, by 2050 it could use more than 26% of the total global carbon budget.To make cheap clothing, brands use cheap fibers. According to a Greenpeace report, Polyester is now found in over 60% of the clothes produced. Polyester comes from fossil fuel (also the same type of fuel we pump into our cars), and for every ton of polyester, manufacturers emit over 5 tonnes of carbon dioxide.
Buy. Use. Throw away. The linear model of production that fast fashion brands employ is extremely wasteful. The problem of disposable garments is getting worse: we buy 60% more items of clothing and keep them for about half as long as 15 years ago.
Apparel workers are among the lowest-paid employees worldwide. Much of the clothing industry has low social standards that can lead to unsafe working conditions, long hours, low pay, and job discrimination for the workers who are predominately women. In 2013, over 1,100 fashion workers at Rana Factory were killed when the building they were forced to stay in collapsed. The fashion workers were forced to continue working despite visible cracks in the foundation of the building. This accident is just one of the many examples of labour abuse in the fashion industry.
Plastic microfibers shed from synthetic clothing into the water account for 85% of the human-made material found along ocean shores, threatening marine wildlife and ending up in our food supply.