There fashion industry has long been one of the dirtiest in the world. Between the enormous amounts of toxins sprayed on conventional crops like cotton, and child labour and extremely underpaid (slave) labour used to create cheap clothing for mainstream fashion houses, it's very much a dirty little secret of our capitalist culture.
When we created Movement Global it was precisely with a vision to create amazing sustainable clothing, that was fair paid, fair trade, made locally and using organic cotton and easy to grow sustainable Bamboo.
The latest news: big farming is wreaking more havoc than global warming
Our web gal Amanda Euringer has been sounding the alarm about toxins for almost a decade, in her series on Toxins being used in industrial settings she outlined many of the main issues faced not only by workers in those industries, but also by the planet at large, as when it comes to toxic substances, even tiny amounts can affect human life generation to generation depending when the toxin comes into contact with us. The same is true for our animals, plants, and insects.
With the latest news that an "insectageddon" is taking place, and with scientists stating that our farming practices are the number one culprit in this environmental catastrophe, it seems well past time for us to change our spending habits when it comes to our clothing.
What are the main environmental culprits in mainstream fashion?
1)Pesticides: Non organic textiles have a huge impact on the environment, (including wool !!). Conventional cotton is one of the most sprayed toxic messes in the world. Pesticides are killing "pests". Insects are incredibly important parts of our ecosystem. Without them we will likely not make it. Because our food won't grow naturally any more.
2) Industrialized farming practices kill soil: honestly the UN just came out with a report that states that with the current soil loss from industrial farming, we only have 60 years of crops left. Just let that sink in.
3)Water use for cotton: Cotton is one of the most used fabrics in the fashion industry, but did you know that it takes over 2,700 litres of water to make one conventional cotton t-shirt, and almost 11,000 to make a pair of jeans? If you consider that the average person needs three litres of water to survive per day, that’s over ten year’s worth of someone’s clean water to make your jeans.
4) Microfibres: Our addiction to stretchy yoga and work out gear is a massive problem. Turns out that the largest percentage of plastic pollution in our oceans - close to 80%- is actually from the microfibres in our clothing. You should be looking for labels that have no more than 8% of any of these contents.
What SHOULD we be doing? Right now? To change this?
1) Do not buy non organic cotton clothing. We really can vote with our wallets here and choose companies that are investing that little extra to go organic. There is no excuse to buy non organic cotton clothing when there are so many great organic cotton options out there.
2) Buy fabrics that are more sustainable: bamboo and hemp are great choices for this as both use less water and can be grown without the use of pesticides. Hemp actually rebuilds the soil it's grown in...but it is harder to find than bamboo. Bamboo grows quickly, needs much less water than cotton, and is hardier.
3) Look at your labels and choose a super low percentage of anything in the stretch category: this includes spandex, nylon, etc...Second hand doesn't help here either, microfibres come out in greater quantity the older the item gets. There is no good option when it comes to microfibres,,,
4) Buy less, keep it longer, buy quality that lasts. Our addiction to"fast fashion" consumption is a main issue here.
We can change this, it's not too late. What we choose to wear can literally determine the fate of our planet. Let's not let our clothing decide our fate, we can do better. It's never been more important.