Clean, Green, Cute: Why sustainable fashion is the future

by MacKenna Strange, Resident Creator

It’s time to get real about where our clothes come from.

The fashion industry is the third highest-polluting industry in the world and the second largest consumer of water.

20% of global industrial water pollution comes from the treatment and dyeing of textiles. In China alone, the textile industry pumps out 2.5 billion tons of wastewater every year.

2,000 different chemicals, including formaldehyde, chlorine, lead, and mercury are used in textile processing. Of these, over 1,600 are used in dyeing processes, but only 16 are actually EPA-approved.

The photos below depict rivers and other bodies of water polluted by these harmful chemicals in China, India, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Ecuador, Brazil, and Russia. This project intends to juxtapose the bright colors in fashion with the horrifying colors of pollution, which come as a direct result of the textile industry. It’s time to start seeing the environmental and social impacts of our fashion choices. Research before you shop. Think about your fashion choices. Complicity is out of style.

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It’s time to change your shopping habits. Vintage is key. Buy less but focus on quality and the company’s impact. “Fast fashion” is killing the planet.

Sustainable fashion game changers:

Worst environmental contributors:

  • Nike

  • Victoria’s Secret

  • Armani

  • Dolce & Gabbana

  • Gap

  • Hermés

  • Calvin Klein

  • Versace

  • Esprit

  • TopShop

  • Uniqlo

  • Zara

  • Asos

Or shop vintage! (https://nylon.com/articles/top-10- online-vintage- shops)

Online shopping uses about 30% less energy than in-store retail.

Michele Dale