The Damaging Effects of Fast Fashion
18th August 2015
EcoPlanet Bamboo is working to provide a sustainable and tangible solution to the issues currently faced by consumer clothing and textile markets.
Fast fashion, led and encouraged by major international clothing brands, has detrimental environmental consequences and leads to poor working conditions, increased levels of poverty, and deteriorating standards of living in some of the world's poorest countries.
Alexandra Heinz's infographic lays out the extent of the growing problem. Americans alone purchase over $20 million garmets per year - that's more than one item of clothing per person every single week. With changing trends, many of these garmets are worn for only a single season before being thrown away where they often end up in landfills across the world.
And this is only part of the problem. Much of the fiber used to make these garments comes from the harvesting of old growth forests, both boreal forests in Canada and Russia, and from the often illegal harvesting of tropical forests across Southeast Asia. Few consumers realize that "rayon" and "viscose" come from the often chemically and waste intensive pulping of trees. And aside from direct deforestation for raw materials, the commercial production of cotton often results in the clearing of large areas of native ecosystems, and places a strain on water resources.
As consumer purchasing increases, the world has to develop not only alternative sources of fiber, but cleaner technologies to turn these fibers into the yarns used for the production of clothing and other textiles (sheets, towels, bedding etc). EcoPlanet Bamboo is working to provide a full life cycle solution - certified and sustainably produced bamboo fiber combined with clean closed loop manufacturing - to global brands that are committed to changing current supply chains.
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