Second to oil, fashion and textiles is the most polluting industry in the world. Every stage in a garment’s life threatens our planet and its resources. With the fate of our planet on the hands of the human race, many people are beginning to change their lifestyles. Using less fossil fuels, choosing renewable resources and cutting down on waste products have all become part modern day living.
Fashion is a complicated business that involves a very long and varied supply chain of production, textile manufacture, retail, raw materials and shipping. While resources such as cotton might be seen as a smart choice, it can still take more than 5,000 gallons of water to manufacture just a t-shirt and a pair of jeans. Synthetic, man-made fibers, while not as water-intensive, often have issues with manufacturing pollution and sustainability. Not to mention that the manufacturing and dyeing of fabrics is chemically intensive, and many of not all textile industries generate tons of waste during production and consumer use.
How Much “Damage” Has the Fashion Industry Caused, and How Can the Industry Become More Sustainable?
The business of fashion, has raised this question, and many other questions regarding analytical and opinionated points of views on the fashion business. The road toward more sustainable clothing will be a long one, but there are many ways in which humans can help to lessen pollution and the use of non-renewable natural resources, as well as the use of some renewable resources such as plants and wildlife.
Redress, an environmental NGO, has not only taken on this challenge to reduce waste in the fashion industry, but works to educate and nurture emerging fashion designers, helps to inspire and inform fashion consumers, and has acted as a catalyst in changing the fashion industry for the better. The organization has organized a sustainable fashion design competition, known as the EcoChic design award, in which inspiring emerging fashion designers and students create mainstream clothing with minimal textile waste.