The fashion industry is a huge part of the global economy, with revenue that reached $5.7 trillion last 2020. It has been estimated that consumers in Europe and North America buy around 95% of all clothes sold worldwide every year, which means that the vast majority of clothing production is focused on these two regions.
However, the environmental impact of this industry is significant because it relies so heavily on petroleum-based products for manufacturing processes, as well as using natural resources such as cotton and wool from animals during the garment-making process. This blog post will discuss how you can reduce the harmful impact that the fashion industry has on the environment through some simple changes in practice.
Shop at thrift stores
One of the primary ways that the fashion industry impacts the environment is through its reliance on fossil fuels for production. It takes a huge amount of energy to manufacture clothing, which means that more than half of all fossil fuel consumption in America goes towards making clothes. The easiest way you can reduce this impact is by buying secondhand clothing at thrift stores and charity outlets instead of new clothes. Rest assured that there are various thrift stores where you can shop. You can even take the time to explore the internet where you can come across the best online thrift stores if you want to shop online. This will help you to save money as well since thrift stores are cheaper than buying new clothes.
Do not buy fast fashion products
Another major impact of the fashion industry is its contribution towards textile waste, which can get dumped into landfills or oceans where it ends up damaging ecosystems and polluting natural resources in a significant way. As much as possible, avoid buying clothes from fast fashion brands because these products are made to be disposable. You can also reduce the amount of textile waste you produce by repairing your clothes when they get damaged instead of throwing them away and buying new ones. There are various tutorials online that show you how to do repairs on different types of clothing, so take a look and give it a try.
Get crafty with your old clothes
If you do not want to buy secondhand or thrift store items but still want a way to reduce the environmental impact of your fashion choices, then you can get crafty with your old clothes. Upcycling is the process of taking something that is no longer usable and turning it into a new product, which means that you can give your old clothes a new lease on life. There are various ways to upcycle clothes. You can cut them to make something new, or you can patch them up with some other material and turn them into rags.
Choose natural fabrics over synthetic materials
The production of synthetic fibers for clothing is another major contributor to environmental pollution. This is because the manufacturing process of these materials releases harmful chemicals into the air and water, which can have a significant impact on human health as well as the environment. You can reduce this impact by opting for natural fabrics instead of synthetic ones.
Natural materials such as cotton and wool are better than synthetic fibers in many ways, with the most significant benefit being their biodegradability. Cotton decomposes quickly once it is disposed of into landfills or oceans because it does not contain toxic chemicals like some types of plastic do. This way you can also be sure that your clothing does not have any harmful chemicals in it, which is a benefit for you as well because these toxic chemicals can cause health problems like cancer.
Buy organic cotton clothing
Another way to reduce the environmental impact of the fashion industry is by buying organic cotton clothing. Cotton is one of the most pesticide-intensive crops in the world, and it takes a lot of water to grow. Buying organic cotton helps to reduce the number of pesticides and fertilizers used in production, as well as the amount of water taken from natural sources. According to research, buying organic cotton also helps to prevent toxic chemicals from entering your body through clothing because it is grown without synthetic pesticides and fertilizers.
Do not buy from fast fashion brands. If there is a need for you to shop for clothes in the future, then be sure that they are made of sustainable materials such as organic cotton so that you do not contribute to pollution and textile waste. You can even look into buying clothes made from recycled materials to reduce the number of resources that are used in the manufacturing process. These are some simple ways that you can reduce the harmful impact of the fashion industry on the environment. Be sure to try them out and see how much of a difference they make.