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fast
fashion
facts

The United States purchases the most fast-fashion products in the world, and are blind to the environmental and human-rights repercussions because manufacturing and sourcing are done in low-income countries — they don't want us to see the truth.

Many clothing manufacturers do not care about their workers — they are grossly underpaid, exposed to proven health-harming chemicals, microfibers, and have no support in basic human rights.

Often the water and natural environments of low-income countries are sacrificed, so we aren't experiencing the climb in pollution and natural destruction in our own cities.

fast fashion accounts for ~10% of global carbon emissions 🌎️

Textile production is a major contributor to climate change. It produces an estimated 1.2 billion tons of CO2 equivalent (CO2e) per year — more than international flights and maritime shipping combined (Source).

The average number of times a piece of clothing is worn decreased by 36% between 2000 and 2015, and during this time, clothing production doubled (Source).

Extending the life of clothing by an extra nine months could reduce carbon, waste and water footprints by around 20–30% each (Source).

in 2017 alone...

10.2 million tons

of clothes ended up in a landfill

2.9 million tons

of clothes were incinerated

Why is fast fashion such a large contributor to pollution? 🏭

It can be cheaper for brands to dump or burn returned goods, rather than finding them another home.

In some countries, 40% of clothes purchased are never used (Source).

pollution

what is polyester? 👕

Polyester or polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is a form of plastic (Source).

Polyester is made from petroleum, a non-renewable resource that requires an energy intensive production process (Source).

PET is used in ~60% of garments (Source).

polyester’s carbon footprint ☁️

Polyester emits more than double the carbon footprint of a cotton garment.

~20-35% microplastics in the ocean come from synthetic clothing.

Polyester takes hundreds of years to decompose.

70 million barrels of oil a year are used to make polyester fibers (Source).

polyester’s lifecycle 🔁

There is no push to recycle PET when virgin plastic is less expensive.

Polyester cannot be reused for rags or stuffing, so it has no use even at the end of the line.

polyester

the link between textiles and water 💧

20% of industrial water pollution is globally attributed to the dyeing and treatment of textiles (Source).

The Aral Sea (formerly one of the 4 largest lakes in the world) has almost entirely dried up in part due to intensive industrial cotton farming in Central Asia — it’s now called the Aralkum Desert (Source).

Low-income countries are sacrificed for our fast fashion indulging and often have to choose between cotton production and securing clean drinking water, suffering from deforestation and biodiversity loss (Source).

It takes this many gallons of water to make...

a pair of leather shoes

3,626

a pair of jeans (cotton)

2,108*

*(about 10 years of drinking water for one person)

a t-shirt (cotton)

659

Water consumption

worldwide production 🌎

The US $2.4 trillion garment and footwear industry, employs millions of workers worldwide.

Clothes and shoes produced in countries in Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe, or other parts of the world find their way into clothing racks in the US, Canada, Europe, Japan, and Australia.

labor rights 🏢

Many factory owners and/or managers often fire pregnant workers, deny maternity leave, ignore harassment, or force overtime (Source).

Workers often work 10 to 14 hours a day plus overtime (Source).

Many factories have no emergency exits or lock windows and doors as a theft deterrant, trapping workers in the building if a fire occurs (Source).

In Lahore, Pakistan, most workers earn between $0.25 and $5.21 per day (Source).

ethics

pollution

+

fast fashion accounts for ~10% of global carbon emissions 🌎️

Textile production is a major contributor to climate change. It produces an estimated 1.2 billion tons of CO2 equivalent (CO2e) per year — more than international flights and maritime shipping combined (Source).

The average number of times a piece of clothing is worn decreased by 36% between 2000 and 2015, and during this time, clothing production doubled (Source).

Extending the life of clothing by an extra nine months could reduce carbon, waste and water footprints by around 20–30% each (Source).

in 2017 alone...

10.2 million tons

of clothes ended up in a landfill

2.9 million tons

of clothes were incinerated

Why is fast fashion such a large contributor to pollution? 🏭

It can be cheaper for brands to dump or burn returned goods, rather than finding them another home.

In some countries, 40% of clothes purchased are never used (Source).

polyester

+

what is polyester? 👕

Polyester or polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is a form of plastic (Source).

Polyester is made from petroleum, a non-renewable resource that requires an energy intensive production process (Source).

PET is used in ~60% of garments (Source).

polyester’s carbon footprint ☁️

Polyester emits more than double the carbon footprint of a cotton garment.

~20-35% microplastics in the ocean come from synthetic clothing.

Polyester takes hundreds of years to decompose.

70 million barrels of oil a year are used to make polyester fibers (Source).

polyester’s lifecycle 🔁

There is no push to recycle PET when virgin plastic is less expensive.

Polyester cannot be reused for rags or stuffing, so it has no use even at the end of the line.

Water consumption

+

the link between textiles and water 💧

20% of industrial water pollution is globally attributed to the dyeing and treatment of textiles (Source).

The Aral Sea (formerly one of the 4 largest lakes in the world) has almost entirely dried up in part due to intensive industrial cotton farming in Central Asia — it’s now called the Aralkum Desert (Source).

Low-income countries are sacrificed for our fast fashion indulging and often have to choose between cotton production and securing clean drinking water, suffering from deforestation and biodiversity loss (Source).

It takes this many gallons of water to make...

a pair of leather shoes

3,626

a pair of jeans (cotton)

2,108*

*(about 10 years of drinking water for one person)

a t-shirt (cotton)

659

ethics

+

worldwide production 🌎

The US $2.4 trillion garment and footwear industry, employs millions of workers worldwide.

Clothes and shoes produced in countries in Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe, or other parts of the world find their way into clothing racks in the US, Canada, Europe, Japan, and Australia.

labor rights 🏢

Many factory owners and/or managers often fire pregnant workers, deny maternity leave, ignore harassment, or force overtime (Source).

Workers often work 10 to 14 hours a day plus overtime (Source).

Many factories have no emergency exits or lock windows and doors as a theft deterrant, trapping workers in the building if a fire occurs (Source).

In Lahore, Pakistan, most workers earn between $0.25 and $5.21 per day (Source).

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