They’re on about carbon dioxide emissions again
The colorful world of fashion has its dark sides, not least of which is its potential impact on the environment.
First, there are the negative effects cause in the making, dying and distributing of most clothes, coverings and other fabrics. Then, there is what happens to all these textiles after consumers are done with them.
Cheap clothing has become a disposable product in our society and most people in Europe recycle or donate less than half the clothing they discard — and they discard a lot — with the rest going into landfills.
And despite the global economic downturn, more clothes, home furnishings and other textiles are being bought than ever. Great Britain alone has seen a 60-percent increase in textile purchases over the last decade. Experts estimate that British consumers throw out more than a million tonnes (1.1 million U.S. tons) of textiles in the form of clothes and other products every year. A European Union environmental report calls fabric Britain’s “fastest growing waste stream.”
Meanwhile, the Bureau of International Recycling, an industry advocacy group, claims that a single kilogram of collected used clothing can help reduce up to 3.6 kilograms, or almost 8 pounds, of CO2 emissions. Recycling textiles — rather than producing new ones from raw materials — can also eliminate the use of 6000 liters of water (1600 gallons), 300 grams of fertilizer (10 1/2 ounces) and 200 grams, or 7 ounces, of pesticide.