Your favorite pair of jeans is destroying the environment.
Did you know how harmful it is for the environment when a single item of clothing is manufactured? Making fabric uses tones of water, energy, and chemicals. It also releases a lot of toxic waste into the oceans.
Producing a single pair of denim jeans uses 1000 gallons of water. Producing a single cotton tee uses 715 gallons which is the amount of water needed for one person to live off of for 3 years. (WWF)
We aim to be Pakistan’s first sustainable brand and are taking steps towards adopting sustainable manufacturing processes. Until then, we believe knowledge is power so we talk about the impact of fashion.
Here are several ways the mainstream fashion industries are destroying the planet.
When you read your t-shirt label, it would say “100% cotton” or “50% polyester”. But it’s missing one very important ingredient: water. The fashion industry is the second largest consumer of water. Processing raw material and manufacturing uses an insane amount of water. A single paid of denim jeans uses 1000 gallons of water. Producing a single cotton tee uses 715 gallons which is the amount of water needed for one person to live off of for 3 years
The world is currently facing a freshwater crisis. More than a billion people do not have access to clean drinking water. It is important for brands to adopt sustainable manufacturing systems that reduce the usage of water by at least 80%. We are working towards reducing the amount of water that goes into manufacturing our clothes.
The water used in manufacturing clothes is more often than not sent back into the rivers, lakes, and oceans. This harms aquatic life. The World Bank estimates almost 20% of global industrial water pollution comes from the treatment and dyeing of textiles.
Did you know washing your clothes also harms the environment? Synthetic clothes are made of plastic. When synthetic clothes are washed, they shed small pieces called microfibers. Microfibers, as the name suggests, are too small to be filtered out by waste treatment plants. Once in the ocean, marine life can mistake them as food and consume them which means it can eventually end up in our food as well.
In the USA alone, over 14 million tones of textile is wasted every year. Statistics are harder to find in smaller countries but it is safe to assume they are similar. 99% of the clothes thrown away can be recycled but more than 85% ends up as trash. Since most fibers are non-biodegradable, once they are in the landfills, they stay there for decades. Nylon takes 30-40 years to biodegrade while polyester requires 200 years. Most textiles require 20-200 years to biodegrade and when they do, they release chemicals like formaldehyde, heavy metals, BPA, and PFCs into the environment. Think about it this way – you wear a shirt a few times and toss it away. It stays in landfills releasing toxic chemicals for 200 years. Not a smart thing to do.
Producing clothes emits CO2 and other greenhouse gases which contributes to global warming and climate change. Petroleum based materials such polyester and nylon emit harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and nitrous oxide. Cotton, leather and other raw materials grown in industrial farming operations also create huge energy footprints.
Chemicals and run-off
2000 different chemicals are used in textile production processes. Out of these, over 1600 are also used in dyeing. Only 16 are EPA approved. Ruff off from these dyes contains heavy metals, alkali salts, toxic solids, and harmful pigments. About 40% of colorants contain organically bound chlorine which is a carcinogen. It can cause cancer like tobacco, asbestos and DDT.
We aim to be a sustainable brand and use friendly fibers that reduce the environmental footprint and water consumption by at least 80%. We promise to remain transparent throughout our journey to become a 100% sustainable brand.
Learn more about how you can recycle old Coral Doe clothes (and earn a small discount in return) instead of throwing them away here.