We love wearing new clothes and flaunting them in front of friends and others. But have you ever thought about how these clothes are made? You might be surprised to know that the fashion industry contributes significantly to environmental pollution. To make clothes, the garment manufacturers have to use a lot of water, apply chemical treatments, and dispose of a huge number of unsold garments which eventually end up in the landfill. All these things have a severely negative impact on the environment.
According to research conducted by Earth Pledge, lots of pesticides are used for growing non-organic cotton, which is used by most garment manufacturers. This causes great damage to the environment. Microfibers are sometimes used in making clothes that pollute the water supply and contaminates the food chain when washed. Micro-plastics from the textile industry often end up in the ocean, with fatal results for marine life.
One way to eliminate or at least reduce negative impacts on the environment is to avoid using synthetic materials and microfibers in garment manufacture. Many clothing brands are coming up with sustainable clothing solutions which is great news for the consumer: you can continue to be fashionable while protecting the environment!
Wool is naturally eco-friendly. It is also resistant to odor, so you won’t have to wash it too often, thus reducing the usage of water. Woolen knitwear will also last you a long time, meaning you won’t need to replace your garments o frequently, making them more sustainable.
Wool is biodegradable, unlike synthetic fibers of synthetic knitwear. Wool will decompose in the soil after a few months rather than clogging up landfill and potentially making its way into waterways. For truly sustainable knitwear you need to make sure that eco-friendly practices are adopted throughout the manufacturing process by choosing a sustainable brand like Celtic Knitwear.
Organic cotton is an eco-friendly material because fertilizers and pesticides are not used in the production process, avoiding the emission of nitrogen and other harmful substances. This also protects drinking water supplies by not contaminate the groundwater. Additionally, clothes made of organic cotton are favorable because they are hypo-allergenic.
All too often, we wear clothes only a few times and then throw them away. Along with minimizing you wardrobe, buying second-hand clothes avoids water consumption, chemical contamination, and emission of CO2 associated with the production of new clothes. It is estimated that if we collectively buy 600 kilos of used garments instead of new ones, this would reduce CO2 emissions by more than 2000 kilos.
Upcycling is the process by which unused pieces or materials are used to make clothing or accessories. These could be offcuts from the manufacturing process or second-hand clothes that have been discarded. Upcycling uses few resources compared to manufacturing garments from scratch, greatly reducing water usage and wastage. Designers are continuously looking for innovative ways to upcycle, meaning that there are more and more exciting upcycled products being released on the market.
Recycled Plastic Bottles
Single-use plastics, and plastic bottles in particular are a major environmental issue. Plastic debris takes hundreds of years to break down, and as we have produced more and more plastic waste over the past decades, this plastic is simply accumulating in landfill, and much of it makes its way into waterways and the ocean. Sportswear manufacturers are now using plastic bottles to make workout gear or swimwear, which is a great way to address the plastic issue, as well as avoiding the pollution involved in manufacturing other textiles.
Recycled Fishing Net
Recycled fishing nets are also being used by clothing manufacturers. This is fantastic eco initiative in more ways than one: not only is it a great way to recycle plastic, but old fishing nets are a major hazard to marine life. The fishing nets are turned into a special yarn called Econyl which can then be used to make swimsuits or other items.
Jeans are popular with people of all ages. However, the manufacturing process of jeans is not environmentally-friendly at all. Did you know that about 1,500 liters of water are used to make just one pair of jeans? Additionally, a huge amount of pesticides are used to produce the cotton that is needed to make jeans.
Environmentally-conscious fashion houses are making eco-friendly jeans by using organic cotton. These companies recycle 98% of their water and so they only use less than half a liter of water to make a pair of jeans, as well as using eco-friendly dyes.
Soy fabric is made from the bi-products of tofu or soybean oil. This means that they are made from renewable resources, and so are environmentally friendly. Soy fabric is soft and smooth, so much so that it is often compared to silk. It is also warmer than wool and so is used to make winter clothes.
You will be amazed to see the clothes that are made using these eco-friendly materials. The fashion industry is moving towards sustainable fashion and many brands are now using eco-friendly materials and processes to manufacture their garments, which is great news for consumers and the planet.