Welcome to the Earth in 2016: World, where consumption has gone so far into our DNA, that we are barely noticing madness in the amount of unnecessary sh*t we desire. Among all those things we crave, clothes seem to have a special function- they enable others to classify us instantly in a respective lifestyle and we subconsciously love it!
Thanks to the democratisation of fashion industry, we can buy our clothes easier, cheaper & faster. All hail XXI century- normals can finally imitate the style of the upper class without significant financial effort. It may sound like a blessing, but in fact, it has disastrous consequences for the Earth.
Why shall we abandon our greedy fashion habits? Below you can find a bunch of reasons:
WE ARE NOT GODDAMN ALONE
I believe, that if animals were judgemental, they would see us as little, hairless, arrogant pricks who are acting in an unreasonable, self-destructive way and making everyone’s life harder. Trust me or not but this means, that we are Justin Bieber of the world’s species.
One of the most tragic unnatural disaster caused by human activity is the complete destruction of the Aral Sea. Once one of the 4th biggest lakes in the world, now the area is looking like the desert. It caused the extinction of 24 fish species and complete local climate change.
Reason: Those 20 cotton t-shirts you bought on sale for $2 (true story). The Aral Sea is located between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, the latter country was and still is among the leaders in cotton production (and as we know cotton needs more than sh*tload of water to grow). In the 1950’s they started to use water from rivers to irrigate the cotton crops. You can see the result below:
In recent years, the population of bees and other pollinators have shrunk dramatically. Scientists are connecting this phenomenon with overusing the insecticides and pesticides in agriculture.
Reason: Cotton is the most popular fabric in the world. It is also an extremely demanding crop. According to WWF, it occupies only 2.4% of the global cropland, yet it uses 24% of insecticide and 11% of all pesticides used in the whole world. Check out how our stores would look like without bees.
EARTH LIMITS? PUSH IT…PUSH IT REAL GOOD
Did you know, that if everyone in the world consumed as much as the Americans (oh, ‘Murica), we would need 4 more planets to maintain the global demand? Well, we only have one, so obviously a little “slowing down” in our needs has to be made.
In January 2015, World Economic Forum ranked Water Crisis as #1 global risk which society will have to face in the upcoming 10 years.
Problem: To produce 1 kg of the cotton, around 20 000 l of water is needed (sometimes far more, sometimes less). Only last year China (world’s cotton leader) produced, no sh*t, 6 532 000 000 kg of cotton. Fashion Iron Logic: Maybe in the short future we will be suffering from extreme thirst- but at least we will be suffering in new, stylish clothes!
There is a saying in the fashion world:
If you want to know the colour trends for upcoming season- check the colour of Chinese rivers.
The World Bank claims that up to 20% of world’s industrial water pollution is caused by textile dyeing and fabric treatment. From the 72 toxic chemicals found in the polluted waters, 30 cannot be removed.
FAST FASHION LITERARY HURTS PEOPLE
Since 1990’s the awareness of the situation in sweatshops, have risen in our society. Despite countless incidents, world’s famous brands find excuses to use cheap work labour in so-called Third World countries.
The majority of fashion brands produce their clothes in developing countries as this is the only way to sell products at competitive price. Still, the term living wage is hardly implemented, and the employees are paid minimum wage. Let’s take a quick look how much it is:
Garbage money is not the only concern of people working in the sweatshops. They are very often missing the basic rights at work (or even human rights). The investigation made by SACOM students in Chinese factories showed, that suppliers of Uniqlo (which ensures that it’s constantly monitoring the conditions in the factories), forces its employees to work 11 hours a day (1-hour break), 29 days a month in the highly dangerous environment.