Fact Sheet: Fashion

Fact Sheet: Fashion

Textile Waste

300,000 tonnes of textile waste ends up in household bins each year, 20% goes to landfills and 80% goes to the incinerators

Less than 1% of material used to produce clothing is recycled into new clothing at the end of its life. 

More than $500 billion of value is lost every year due to clothing underutilisation and the lack of recycling

17% of young people questioned said they wouldn’t wear an outfit again if it had been on Instagram.

Modern Day Slavery

Of 71 leading retailers in the UK, 77% believed there was a likelihood of modern slavery occurring at some stage in their supply chains. [Hult Research and Ethical Trading Initiatives (2016) p8]

Over 90% of workers in the global garment industry have no possibility to negotiate their wages and conditions, according to the global trade union IndustriALL. 

Limited Natural Resources

If the global population reach 9.6 billion by 2050, the equivalent of almost three planets could be required to provide the natural resources needed to sustain current lifestyles.

A polyester shirt has more than double the carbon footprint of a cotton shirt (5.5kg CO2e vs 2.1kg CO2e).

One kilogram of cotton – equivalent to the weight of a shirt and a pair of jeans – can take as much as 10,000-20,000 litres of water to produce. 

Environmental Damage

Textile production is a major contributor to climate change. It produces an estimated 1.2 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent (CO2e) per year – more than international flights and maritime shipping combined. 

20% of industrial water pollution globally is attributable to the dyeing and treatment of textiles

As much as 20% to 35% of all primary source microplastics in the marine environment are from synthetic clothing, according to academic estimates.

Extending the life of clothing by an extra nine months could reduce carbon, waste and water footprints by around 20–30% each.

Fixing fashion: clothing consumption and sustainability (Environmental Audit Committee, 19 Feb 2019)

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