Fashion & Sustainability 𓇊

  • The U.S. throws away up to 11.3 million tons of textile waste each year
  • 2,150 pieces of clothes are thrown away each second
  • The fashion industry is responsible for up to 10% of the global carbon dioxide output. This is more than international flights and shipping combined
  • 1/5th of the 300 million tons of plastic produced each year is used by the fashion industry
  • 1,800 gallons of water are needed to make one pair of cotton jeans
  • 3,400 gallons of water are needed to make one cotton shirt 
  • With the rise of fast fashion, more clothing is being produced than ever before.  Research suggests that the number of garments produced each year has doubled since 2000
  • According to reports, globally, less than 1% if recycled clothing is used to create new garments
  • 71% of microplastics found in samples of river water are from fibers (textiles)
  • Clothing waste generated by Americans went from 1.4 million tons in 1960 to 13 million tons in 2018. 70% of this clothing goes to landfills


My personal experience:

Having worked in the fashion industry for my entire career, I have witnessed the incredible waste brands contribute to destroying the environment. I was truly struck by this when working for a contemporary footwear brand in New York. As an assistant in wholesale sales, managing samples was an important part of my job.  This meant keeping an inventory of future season's samples, as well as current and past seasons.  On one memorable day, all of the sales assistants were sent to seven huge storage units to dispose of past season’s samples. These enormous storage units were filled wall to wall and up to the ceiling, with hundreds, if not thousands, of shoes.  Over five days, seven assistants unpacked  shoes in the hallways of the storage facility until we had disposed of enough boxes of samples to be able to make our way inside each unit. To dispose of the many thousands of unwanted full pair samples, we were to cut them so that they could not be used. I went straight to my manager and suggested that we donate these  pairs to a women's shelter or charity.  Unfortunately, that was not an option.  Not only were we missing the opportunity to help women in need, we were contributing to the growing environmental disaster.

As the years have gone on, "sustainability" has become a buzzword within the fashion industry.  We applaud these efforts, however, the most environmentally conscious industry efforts do not address the issues outlined above.

There are so many more facts and stats that could be noted here, it's overwhelming. I love fashion, but I refuse to be a part of the problem. I am dedicated to being part of the solution.  I hope you are too. 🤍