Clothes act as our second skin and have quickly become codependent on something called energy. Over the years, the fashion industry has elevated their use of this power but with a lack of consciousness. Greenhouse emissions are on the rise due to the extensive process it takes to create apparel. If we’re not careful, an intimidating fact overlooks all of us. That is to say, “If the fashion industry doesn’t change the way it currently operates, it is on track to increase its contribution to global emissions by 50 per cent by 2030” (Common Objective). A hot warning to shift our perspective and reconsider our principles without anymore hesitation. The time to act is now and as consumers we can influence a change. So let’s address our own daily habits like how we wash our clothes and giving longer lifecycles to our second skin. These are little baby steps that will unequivocally lead to clean solutions in order to curb pollution.
Wash with care: Laundry days require a lot of high energy from the machines we rely on. Whenever we throw a t-shirt or a pair of denim into the washing machine and dryer, the lifecycle of those clothes are greatly affected as they “shed tiny, unseen microfibers (including plastic), which go down the drains of our washing machines and into our waterways” (Celsious Social). Totally bad for our favorite clothing items as they do tend to shrink with each wash. And where does this water even go? Eventually, it ends up flowing into the ocean.That’s why adopting a new laundry routine is important. The micro plastics from our beloved clothes are in the same water as other ocean life. Sea creatures easily confuse these dangerous particles for food and accidentally consume these synthetic fibers incorporating them into their diet unknowingly.
Why we care: What we wear and how we decide to take care of it reflects on the environment. New practices of washing less and in a smarter manner can easily be introduced into our routine. Even though there’s a lack of sun in the west coast, there are still ways to being more eco-friendly and use clean energy. After all, those of us who live in the western world have a carbon footprint that could definitely be refined. “Around half of the carbon dioxide from the fashion industry occurs at the consumer end, from the wearing, washing, tumble drying, ironing and dry cleaning of clothes - mostly in North American, the EU and Japan” (Common Objective).
What you can do: Let your clothes air dry outside allowing the heat of the sun to disinfect them naturally. It’s also quite therapeutic. Put on some good music, grab a few clothespins and enjoy the fresh air and smell of clean laundry. Another option is having a bamboo drying rack indoors instead of using a machine that uses around 3000 watts of energy to drain out all the water from your favorite garments. You can also hand wash your intimates in the shower to reduce water usage. These tips may be small but down the line can provide positive impacts. Not only will you notice longevity in your clothes, but you are no longer participating in catastrophic energy emissions. And let’s not forget to encourage the brands you love to switch to renewable energy. Hopefully these facts provided by Common Objective will spark a change:
•According to the Textile World, it takes 132 million tonnes of coal to produce 60 billion kilograms of textiles.
•The Pulse Report estimates that improved energy management in the fashion industry could net a potential value of €63 billion.
•By 2030, on current trends, emissions from production are set to rise 60 per cent, reaching an estimated 2.8 billion tonnes of CO23.