why is sustainable fashion worth attention?
how sustainability is reshaping the industry
Please kindly let me draw your attention to the video below. This is why I would like to talk about sustainable fashion.
Above documentary is filed right after the tragedy — Dhaka garment factory collapse(2013). Similar to #metoo and #blacklivesmatter movements, after the tragedy, we learned to pay attention.
Definition of sustainable fashion
Sustainable fashion refers to clothing that is designed, manufactured, distributed, and used in ways that are environmentally friendly.
- Green Dreamer
Sustainability concerns are two-folded: Environmental and Social.
Talking about environmental concern, let’s divide it into 2 parts:
during manufacturing and after it. Manufacturing process leads to dyed/ chemical-processed water waste, abundant water consumption, CO2 emission, pesticides usage, etc. After we bought our clothes, one washing cycle of polyester cloth can generate and release over 700K microplastics into the ocean. And non-biodegradable cloth can take up to 200 years to break down.
Apart from the instinct linkage between the word sustainability and environment, social responsibility is another big pillow of this topic. Cloth is necessary to our life, but none of us want to pay 10USD less in the cost of another human being’s life. While this issue is not at all easy to solve, there are things that we can do. Blockchain can be one of the solutions and some brands worth an applause for their dedication in the issue.
How serious is it?
Fashion industry was responsible for 4% of total greenhouse-gas emissions globally. In the other words, the industry emits the same amount of GHG as the entire economies of France, Germany, and the UK combined.
Per year, the industry consumed 79 trillion liters of water, 5% of global freshwater withdrawal. In another context, it is 3000 liters of water per cotton shirt approximately. Buying one less cloth, it save a month of your showering water.
It can be a bit overwhelmed for us to memorize which composition is natural , biodegradable or consuming tons of water. Look at the 3 steps takeaway for a simple resort.
If you would like to go into details, please refer to below content.
Organic Cotton — Sustainable Score: 9/10
Pros: Natural fiber, no pesticides or chemical, biodegradable
Cons: water-consuming, pricy
Lenzing — Sustainable Score: 9/10
Pros: Natural fiber, biodegradable, anti-bacterial, consume less water
Cons: Chemical process required
Hemp — Sustainable Score: 9/10
Pros: Natural fiber, no chemical process required, biodegradable, anti-bacterial, consume less water
Linen — Sustainable Score: 8/10
Pros: Natural fiber, no chemical process required, biodegradable, anti-bacterial
Silk— Sustainable Score: 8/10
Pros: Natural fiber, biodegradable, consume less water
Cons: pricy, silk worms are killed
Viscose/Rayon — Sustainable Score: 6-8/10
Pros: Natural origins, biodegradable, consume less water, affordable
Cons: chemical processed
Cotton — Sustainable Score: 7/10
Pros: Natural fibers, no chemical processing, biodegradable,
Cons: water-consuming, lots of pesticides required
Polyester — Sustainable Score: 1/10
Pros: require less water, easy to care for, affordable
Cons: toxic chemicals originated, high energy consumption, CO2 emission, non-biodegradable
Nylon — Sustainable Score: 1/10
Pros: Require less water, affordable
Cons: chemical processed, GHG emission, non-biodegradable
Just like all social movements, we realized something injustice from the pain of a tragedy. Apart from grief, we should put our words into action.
About the Author
Gary Leung is a Data Scientist in Fashion Industry.
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