According to a survey conducted by Forbes in 2018, the fashion industry contributes about 4% of the total global waste each year.

In today’s topic, we are looking at the facts surrounding this claim.

Fact 1: The apparel and footwear industries account for a combined estimate of 8% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, and fashion is the third highest-polluting industry in the world.

Fact 2: A 2016 McKinsey report revealed that three-fifths of all clothing items will end up in an incinerator or landfill within a year after being produced.

Fact 3: If we keep this up, by 2050 the fashion industry could use more than 26 percent of the “carbon budget” associated with a 2o C pathway (a long-term goal to limit global warming to less than 2°C above pre-industrial levels).

Fact 4: We don’t really wear our clothes. Worldwide, clothing utilization (how often we put something on) has decreased by 36 percent compared to 15 years ago.

Fact 5: It’s estimated that less than 1 percent of the material used to produce clothing is recycled into something more. That’s about a loss of 100 billion USD worth of materials every year.

Fact 6:  By 2030, it’s expected that fashion waste will increase to a 148-million-ton problem.

Fact 7: According to the Global Fashion Agenda, 26 percent of business owners surveyed believe that “low consumer willingness to pay a premium for sustainable products” was the greatest barrier for them to become more sustainable.

Fact 8: …But consumer attitudes for ethical fashion are increasingly favourable. Sixty percent of millennials say they want to shop more “sustainably.”

Fact 9: Many brands are moving to more sustainable production methods. As of May 2018, 12.5 percent of the global fashion market has pledged to make changes by 2020.

Fact 10:  The clothing brand Patagonia was the first to make polyester fleece out of plastic bottles.

Fact 11: Cotton, a popular material in clothing, requires high levels of water and pesticides, which cause issues in developing countries.

Fact 12: About 2,000 different chemicals are used in textile processing — yet only 16 are approved by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Fact 13:  According to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, the fashion industry produces 20 percent of global wastewater.

Fact 14: Only 15 percent of consumers recycle their used clothing.


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