With “fast fashion” coming to a screeching halt due to coronavirus lockdowns, consumers are becoming more aware of the environmental and social impact of the contents of their closets.
Even before the global pandemic, the fashion industry needed to make changes to preserve the future of our planet. At 1.2 billon tons annually, total greenhouse gas emissions from textile production is greater than the emissions that result from all international flights and maritime shipping combined. If the fashion industry continues on its path, it could use more than 26 percent of the carbon budget associated with a 2-degree Celcius global warming limit by 2050.
Between 4,000 and 8,000 chemicals enter textile factories in countless formulations. The chemicals exit the factories either on the products or as waste that can negatively impact the environment. Textile wastewater pollutes rivers, oceans, wildlife and horticulture within miles of processing facilities. Studies show that the treatment and dyeing of textiles is responsible for up to one-fifth of industrial water pollution globally. In addition, certain chemicals used in the manufacturing of garments are potentially harmful to the health of those who work in textile manufacturing plants and can cause ailments to people who wear the clothing.
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