Our favorite t-shirt, the jeans that doesnt fit anymore and those shoes that we rarely use, if built or dyed with polluting materials, have contributed to damage and consume vital resources. Suffice it to say that, even by just washing our clothes, every year we release half a million tons of microfibres into the ocean, the equivalent of 50 billion plastic bottles. The dyeing of fabrics, on the other hand, appears to be in second place among the major causes of water pollution on the planet: just think that to make a pair of jeans 7,500 liters are required. Emissions of greenhouse gases are added to pollution: 8% of global emissions are attributable to the clothing and shoe industry. If this data is still not enough, a clearer idea comes from the Ellen Mac Arthur Foundation, according to which the textile sector, with its annual 1.2 billion tons of CO2 emissions, exceeds the sum of emissions due to air or maritime transport.
The environmental impact of the fashion industry, however, does not stop only with the production of clothing but also continues in the homes of those who buy them. This is the damage of an increasingly linear society, prey to throwaway fashion. All it takes is a simple click to buy new trendy clothes that we stop wearing in even less time. So the planet not only undergoes the choices of producers who are not attentive to environmental problems, but also to consumers who are not aware of their purchases. A survey of the fashion business The State of Fashion 2019 made by Bof-McKinsey opens our eyes on this very panorama: the average consumer buys 60% more clothes than 15 years ago, keeping them for a shorter time. In fact, an English girl out of three considers clothes even old after having worn them once or twice, considering it is not good to be immortalized in more than one photo with the same outfit. To date, 85% of the clothes produced end up in landfills, while only 1% is recycled. Some call it therapeutic shopping, for others it can be a real disease. In any case, only the planet that finds itself using precious resources for garments that always have less duration in peoples wardrobes is always affected.
Something is moving. With the signing of the Charter for the climate action of the United Nations by the Vf Corporation, the worlds largest clothing company that includes major brands including The North Face, Vans, Eastpak, Timberland and Napapijri, something is changing. Sustainable fashion, the production of clothes respecting the environment and workers, is becoming more and more popular. According to some data from Lyst, the global fashion research platform, the increase in interest in sustainable fashion is expanding all over the world with the top spot in the ranking reserved for Finland, while Italy appears in 12th place with an increase 78% of purchases of sustainable clothing from October 2018 to March 2019.