Last post my daughter and I discussed the issue of clothing on our environment and some astounding facts surrounding fast fashion. Emily mentioned that globally, we consume approximately 80 billion new items of clothing annually. And that Australians are tossing a whopping 85% of unwanted items to landfill. We also learned that with over 60 percent of textiles in production being synthetic (derived from fossil fuels, a non-renewable resource) our unwanted clothing will remain non decaying for centuries. Therefore, we’re exerting an unprecedented strain on finite resources to produce an infinite amount of things i.e clothing and accessories.


Let’s have a closer look at some of the realities of what goes on behind the scenes to make the clothes we love to wear everyday. Pretty startling facts to say the least – it’s hard to get your head around the enormity of what we’re dealing with while feeling overwhelmed and a bit helpless.

  1. Fast fashion causes 10% of all greenhouse gas emissions – that produces more than all international flights & shipping combined.
  2. The fashion industry is the second largest polluter in the world just after the oil industry. And the environmental damage is increasing as the industry grows.
  3. Every second, one garbage truck full of textiles is burned or sent to landfill – three out of five items bought are thrown away within a year.
  4. 1.5 trillion litres of are used by the fashion industry each year.
  5. Washing one synthetic garment releases about 2,000 plastic microfibres – which enters the ocean & food chain.
  6. It takes 2,700 litres of water to make one cotton shirt – a person drinks about that in 2.5 years.
  7. Making & washing one pair of jeans emits the same CO2 (carbon dioxide) as driving 69 miles. 
  8. 120 million trees are cut down every year to make clothes – 30% of rayon & viscose come from endangered and ancient forests.
  9. Up to 16% of pesticides are used in cotton farming every year – these 

chemicals degrade soil & pollute water while poisoning cotton pickers.

  1. 85 % of the daily needs in water of the entire population of India would be covered by the water used to grow cotton in the country. Sadly, a staggering 100 million people in India do not have access to drinking water.
  2. 22,000 litres of toxic waste is dumped into rivers by tanneries in Bangladesh every day.
  3. 20% of industrial water pollution comes from textiles, treatments and dyes.
  4. 190,000 tons of microplastic fibres are going into the oceans each year.   

As seen in the

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