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Exposing the Fashion Industry

Part 1 of Sustainable Fashion




Did you know the Fashion Industry is the SECOND WORST PULLUTING INDUSTRY ON THE PLANET?! I knew it was bad, maybe I had read that somewhere before but I had no idea it was THIS bad.

 

To shed light on the industry's inner workings, I invited Johnny Daly, a seasoned Precision Equipment and Apparel Designer with a remarkable 15-year career in men's and women's fashion to join us on the show. His portfolio boasts collaborations with renowned brands like Brooks Brothers, Hot Shots, Rag, and Bone, and his current role as the Lead Product Designer at Blue Force Gear. You can listen to or watch Simply B. Sustainable Episode 9, Simplify your Closet, Pt 2 of the Sustainable Fashion series.

 

Environmental Impact: A Closer Look

 

The shocking numbers speak volumes:

  • 20% of global wastewater comes from the fashion industry

  • 70 million barrels of oil are used annually to create polyester fibers

  • 60% of all clothing made contains polyester

  • 500,000 tons of plastic microfibres go into the ocean each year, the equivalent of 50 billion plastic bottles.

  • 20,000 liters of water are needed to produce a single kilogram of cotton

    • That's barely enough for 1 pair of jeans or 1 T-shirt!

  • 83% of textiles end up in landfills each year

    • that's a garbage truck every second!


But WHY?! Fast Fashion: A Culprit in Environmental Degradation

 

The fast fashion phenomenon, defined by the rapid production of cheap, low-quality clothing, has become a significant contributor to global waste and environmental issues. Brands like Zara, UNIQLO, Forever 21, H&M, and SHEIN churn out an astonishing 100 billion new garments annually, leading to a 400% increase in consumption over the past two decades. The average woman's closet contains $550 worth of unworn clothing. They spend only days or hours from concept and design to creation which means not only are the clothes cheaply in labor, but they are poorly designed which is why while they might look cute online, they often fit worse than they are made, causing them to be rarely worn if at all and discarded.

 

Shein, the online fashion giant, witnessed a meteoric rise from $10 billion in 2020 to a staggering $100 billion in 2022. Investigations in the UK's Channel 4 uncovered labor exploitation, with employees subjected to grueling 75-hour shifts and unsafe conditions.

 

Microplastics in Our Wardrobes

 

Synthetic fabrics, prevalent in our clothing (60% of which is polyester), shed microplastics when washed. The plastics are too small to filter out and have been infiltrating oceans where fish and other aquatic animals absorb them causing a major issue: our food chain is now made of microplastics. Microplastic pollution has been detected in human blood for the first time, with scientists finding the tiny particles in almost 80% of the people tested. In 2021, researchers found microplastics in all 10 placentas of those tested.

 

 

How Can You Make a Difference?

 

1. Buy less

  • Challenge consumerism by reevaluating your shopping habits

  • What will you wear it with? How often will you wear it? What is it made of?

2. Buy second-hand, swap, & rent clothing

  • Explore sustainable options like thrifting, borrowing, or leasing

3. Buy better quality

  • Shift focus from quantity to quality, care for your clothes to extend their lifespan

4. Don't throw out your clothes

5. Support sustainable brands

  • Opt for ethical and sustainable fashion brands like these

6. Conscious washing

  • Reduce laundry impact by line drying your clothes and washing less frequently only when needed

 

Nest Steps: Simplify Your Closet!

 

To simplify your closet, start by organizing your clothes, grouping similar items, and asking 'Does it spark joy?' Your answer to each article of clothing is a quick

YES. NO. MAYBE.

You do not need to get rid of anything just yet. Remove the emotion of what this answer may bring by allowing your answer if unsure to be just be maybe and move on.


This sets the stage for my next blog, and podcast episode where we'll dive deeper into creating a SIMPLE wardrobe that is STYLISH and true to YOU.

 

As we navigate the complex world of fashion waste, remember that small changes in our choices can collectively make a significant impact. Wearing the clothing you have is always the most sustainable option. Simplifying your closet ensures this and is a great place to begin your journey of reducing textile waste, and promoting sustainable fashion. I’ll guide you and together we will discover your authentic style and build a simple wardrobe that aligns with your lifestyle, and personality saving you time, money, and stress all while saving the planet! Thank you for being here!


Simply,

B


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