Is fast fashion toxic?
Did you know?
The fashion industry has exploded in the last decade by 400% in manufacturing clothing. It’s all about how much you can consume and how cheap you can get it. Let’s talk about the impacts of fast fashion and how we can disrupt the industry and protect ourselves from further harm it may cause.
Impacts of Fast Fashion and synthetic textiles:(clothing, blankets, towels etc...)
- 80 billion garments are produced each year.
- Most women only wear 20% to 30% of what they have in their wardrobes.
- An average of 78 lbs of textile waste is generated per person every year.
- On average we only wear garments a total of 7 times before getting rid of them.
- Quantity over quality has become a popular trend.
- Textile production has increased 400% in the last decade.
- 20% of industrial water pollution comes from textile treatment and dyeing.
- Every time we wash a synthetic item (polyester, nylon, etc), about 1,900 individual microfibers are released into the water, making their way into our oceans. Introducing them into our food chain.
- Only 15% of clothing is recycled.
- Cheap synthetic fibers can take up to 200 years to decompose. Synthetic fibers are used in 72% of our clothing.
- Textile dyes create around 17-20% of total industrial water pollution
- Conventional cotton is notorious for using more pesticides than any other crop in the world. These toxic chemicals have been the cause of over 1 million farmworkers in need of hospitalization every year.
- There are over 8,000 synthetic chemicals that we know of used in clothing manufacturing. Many of these chemicals are known to be carcinogenic, endocrine disrupting(messing with your hormones) and hazardous to our health. Some of the chemicals include silicone waxes, petroleum scours, softeners, heavy metals, flame retardants, ammonia, and even formaldehyde. These chemicals can even be absorbed through our skin as we wear/sweat. Allowing toxins into our bloodstream.
A list of synthetic fibers: Nylon, Polyester, Acrylic, Spandex, Olefin, Vegan fur/leather/suede, Neoprene, Micro fiber, Vinylon, Lycra, Gore-tex, etc...
This list is long and disturbing and could go on and on. So let’s talk about the part we can play to help disrupt this mindset of overconsumption and fast fashion. And in return live a non-toxic life.
How we can reduce our impact:
- First thing we can do is BUY LESS!
- Buy better quality.
- Think twice before throwing something out. Learn to mend what you already have. Sell or donate. Think of the mindset recycle, reduce and reuse.
- Buy second hand, swap with a friend or rent clothing.
- Wash your clothing only when absolutely necessary. Try to get a few wears in with each item of clothing. Wash full loads to save water and use mild environmentally friendly detergents.
- Find sustainable brands to shop from. (share some of your favorites in the comments!)
- Choose natural fibers (preferably organic) instead of synthetic ones. Unlike synthetics, natural materials like organic cotton, linen, silk, wool and hemp allow the body to breath, detox and regulate body temperature properly. Natural fibers are also naturally biodegradable and can be composted, while synthetics don’t break down and can live in landfills for hundreds of years.
- Buy Organic. Organic Cotton uses 87% less water than conventionally grown cotton and emits 45% less greenhouse gases.
- Always wash new clothing before first use to remove toxic chemicals.
- Spread the word, set an example to friends and family.
- You don't have to get rid of synthetic fibers you already have, instead think about washing them less to prevent plastic microfibers into our water. When you do buy new things buy natural fibers. (list below)
- Read tags.
A list of Natural Fibers to choose from when purchasing clothing:
Cellulose (plant) based: Cotton, Hemp, Rayon, Bamboo, Linen
Protein based: Silk, Wool, Cashmere
What we as a brand are doing:
Here at Madder Goods we are doing our best to clean things up. We are committed to using non-toxic, natural and Organic materials.
- We provide organic goods that are dyed using all natural non-toxic dyes. Using kitchen scraps and plant materials.
- Dyed in small batches to help reduce waste.
- By using Organic Cotton, we keep the people we work with and the products we sell safe.
- We use 100% compostable materials for our shipping mailers.
We would love to hear more idea on how to reduce our impact as individuals and as a brand. Let us know what you are doing in the comments!
Thanks for visiting our blog!