The Hidden Cost of Cheap Clothing
Huge high-street brands pursuit of 'fast fashion'
What's Going On Here?
Every year over 150 billion items of clothing are manufactured. The demand for cheap clothes is killing the environment and the people that live around the factories that produce them. It’s not just flared jeans and budgie-smugglers that cause a problem.
What Does This Mean?
Cheap and ‘fast fashion’ causes tight turnarounds. Some factories follow the rules, whilst others take shortcuts. One fabric used to create cheap clothes is called Viscose, and it is causing disastrous environmental and social impact.
Viscose is supposed to be a more sustainable and cheaper fabric than cotton as it uses less water and is also biodegradable. It is used by most UK high-street stores, however, the manufacturing of Viscose has been causing controversy, with some factories producing ‘dirty Viscose.'
Why Should I Care?
Clothes we buy from Asos, Zara, Debenhams, Next, Tesco and M&S are made in factories responsible for huge social and environmental damage. Over 30% of the Viscose comes from endangered and ancient forests, decimating forests through logging across Indonesia and India. But on-top of this, leaking of hazardous chemicals involved in the manufacturing of Viscose are having disastrous consequences for people's health. Including chronic mental health, physical disorders and premature death.
The BIGGER Picture
The problem is more than just pollution. It takes over 3,500 litres of water (the equivalent of 1186 showers) to make a pair of jeans.
New fabrics and solutions need to be used, and they are starting to be. Adidas is leading the way. They have created a range of swimwear in partnership with Parley for the Oceans, that are made from 95% plastic recovered from the ocean. "Spinning the problem into a solution. The threat into a thread.” So no matter what tan lines you are after, you can do it in style.
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