The killer is a master of disguise, blending into our daily lives through our unnecessary wants and desires. It feeds off the trends we create, murdering the innocent in complete silence. Killing for profit, it’s the 2nd biggest mercenary in the world. The killer is with us right now.
If you haven’t already guessed it, this killer is our clothing, and calling attention to its presence is the first step towards putting it behind bars.
I am no scientist, rather a business student who was blessed with the opportunity to grow up on the North Shore of Oahu where I reaped the benefits of nature from Mauka (mountain) to Makai (ocean). Now it’s time to return the favor. Thanks to the work of real scientists across the globe, this threat to our environment has been identified, and Pure is here to help spread the word.
The clothing and apparel industry is now the 2nd most polluting in the world, aside from oil. The trends of fast fashion have created a demand for low quality/low price clothing that can be quickly produced, and thrown away even faster.
It’s as basic as the first rule in economics, increase supply = increase demand. The spike in demand for fast fashion has created a supply of clothing that is quickly killing our environment, and it is up to us to stop it.
To get an idea of the dangers behind that t-shirt you are wearing, let’s do a highline overview of the most popular fabrics used in the industry.
Cotton currently accounts for 40% of the world’s clothing and is one of the most chemically dependent crops in the world. It consumes 10% of the world’s agricultural chemicals and 25% of insecticides. Like everything else left in nature, these chemicals eventually find their way into rivers and streams, injuring and killing the many ecosystems it comes in contact with during its journey to the sea. (alternet)
Wool comes from sheep who are treated with “dip”, a toxic chemical used to rid sheep of parasites. Another weapon of mass destruction for the ecosystem once it makes its way into run-off.
Nylon and Polyester are made from non-biodegradable petrochemicals. The Nylon manufacturing process produces nitrous oxide, a green house gas 310x more potent than carbon dioxide. Polyester requires large amounts of lubrication during manufacturing, which are often dumped directly into rivers and stream. Not to mention the 70 million barrels of oil needed each year to produce the virgin polyester for that favorite shirt of yours. (fibre2fashion)
Rayon (visvose) is an artificial fiber made from wood pulp. Aside from the issue of deforestation, the wood pulp must be treated with hazardous chemicals such as caustic soda and sulphuric acid. Which, you guessed it, also make their way into our ecosystems. (fibre2fashion)
The manufacturing process required to get raw material/fiber to cloth is likely the deadliest threat of them all. Most of the manufacturing for our clothes takes place in developing countries where there is little restrictions and laws surrounding pollution. This allows manufacturers to discharge the chemicals used in bleaching, dying, and finishing our clothes directly into rivers and oceans.
Okay, so now you know who the killer is, and the victims at risk. SO HOW DO WE LOCK IT AWAY FOR LIFE?
As mentioned earlier, it is up to US to put this criminal behind bars. We can do this by spreading awareness, expanding the life of our clothing, and purchasing durable garments. Most importantly, supporting brands that use sustainable materials and manufacturing processes to produce their clothing will help cultivate a new trend.
For those of you who are looking to purchase environmentally sustainable gear that pushes the limits of performance, keeps you looking stylish, and leaves you with a guilt free conscious; check out our Gear-Guide for a list of products we’ve tested and certified for sustainability, performance, and quality.
With our combined effort we can put a stop to fast fashion. After all, we as consumers are the trend setters. So let’s stand together and create demand for clothing that is good for us and the environment. Supply will follow.
Like all unsuspecting victims, I was unaware of the killer on me until only a few years ago. So please share this post with anyone willing, because awareness of the issue is the first step in solving it!
Please check out these awesome articles I used/pulled information from for a deeper insight on the issue!