As we enter the new year it's time to reflect on what we buy and it's effect on the world. The fashion industry is growing tremendously. This incline comes with an ever growing negative effect on our planet. With the enormous amounts of waste and pollutants produced by the industry, it is no surprise that fashion is one of the world's leading industries in pollution. It is important that you start shopping sustainable fashion brands to help reduce these effects.
Sustainable fashion, also commonly referred to as eco-fashion, has an ultimate goal of producing apparel, footwear, accessories, etc. in a manner that is ethical and socio-economical. The trek towards this goal had been hindered by the negligence of the fast fashion sector of the industry. Some negative effects of fast fashion are: waste, pollution, water consumption, and unethical practices to name a few. What you save buying fast fashion, you will later on pay for with it's harmful effects on the world as well as it's people.
925 Babe is not a fast fashion brand. Currently, all of the clothing is made to order in Los Angeles, CA. Furthermore, we recycle scrap fabric, bad samples, and excess materials. 925 Babe purposefully chooses not to use polyester to make garments because of its harmful impact on the environment.
Waste, Pollution, and the Oceans
The waste produced by textile companies is vast. According to a recent Greenpeace study, out of the 400 billion square meters of textiles produced in a year 60 billion square meters are left as waste on the cutting room floor. Many of these textiles are loaded with harmful chemical dyes instead of natural dyes due to their cheaper price, sometimes richer color, and durability. When the 80 billion pieces of clothing produced worldwide, are taken home with consumers 3 out of 4 of those pieces will end up in a landfill and shockingly only 1 out of 4 will be donated. The longevity of the synthetic and chemical loaded fabrics is very harmful to the environment as they can take hundreds of years to decompose according to Down2EarthMaterials.
The fashion industry's carbon footprint continues to grown with the use of synthetic fibers such as polyester over natural fibers like hemp. Polyester production for use in the textile industry released approximately 1.5 trillion pounds of harmful greenhouse gases in 2015.
Second to agriculture, textile dying is the world's second most polluter of clean water as the harmful chemicals and dyes such as PFCs leave a lasting impact on the environment. The runoff from these chemicals leads directly into fresh water sources and into the oceans. It is disturbing that 1 billion people are living in water scarcity, yet it takes 7,000 liters of water to produce a single pair of jeans.
The immense amount of air, water and soil pollution caused by the industry furthers the damage that humans have on climate change.
Ethics: The Effect on People
With a total worth of $4.4 trillion dollars, the apparel industry is a conglomerate that employs 60-75 million workers worldwide. The vast majority of workers being women and forced child laborers who are paid well below a living wage- typically 0.6% of the cost of a T-shirt. In already difficult situations, these employees are subject to high levels of sexual harassment as well as verbal and physical abuse that is often tolerated, ignored, and/or perpetuated by supervisors.
Since 2005, the garment industry has grown 400 percent- a number that is still growing everyday. Due to this, many buildings have been re-purposed quickly into factories that are often unsafe for workers. Inadequate electrical wiring, structural instability, and lack of upkeep being the key causes of factory fires. The deadliest fires being those in Pakistan and Bangladesh in 2012. In 2013, a shocking 300 people died when the Rana Plaza Factory in Bangladesh collapsed due to known cracks in the building's infrastructure. The lives lost were completely preventable.
The negligence of the fast fashion industry has had a huge impact on not only the environment but also on people's lives. As the industry continues to grow, the unethical and unsustainable practices will have insurmountable effects that might be irreversible.
Whilst there are factors that the average consumer can't control, what we can control is what we choose to consume and who we choose to consume it from. Make a stride towards a better future and choose to purchase from sustainable fashion brands.
925 Babe is striving to be a more sustainable brand. In the future we will be using more fabrics that are great for our environment. Check out our first collection: Summer Friday's and look out for a new collection this spring.