每日跟讀#678: Reducing your fashion footprint: tips to help save the world
Under the guidance of French president Emmanuel Macron at the recent G7 summit in Biarritz, 32 fashion companies signed a “fashion pact” to emphasize sustainability in the industry. They included some of the largest luxury brands in the market — Chanel, Ralph Lauren and Prada — as well as “fast fashion” producers, including H&M Group and Zara.
According to a UN study, the fashion industry is responsible for about 10 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions and 20 percent of all waste water and consumes more energy than the airline and shipping industries combined.
The figures are disputed but the message is clear: fashion is a major polluter, and in an industry that depends on human desire for the new, questions hang over it like a dead weight.
Fast fashion is a phrase coined to describe inexpensive clothing produced rapidly by mass-market retailers in response to the latest trends. Critics say that the industry has a large carbon footprint, and creates water and air pollution. Clothes are often manufactured in poor working conditions.
Garments are manufactured cheaply, and are expected to have a short life. One in three young women, the biggest segment of consumers, consider garments worn once or twice to be old. In the UK alone, consumers sent 300,000 metric tonnes of textiles to be burned or dumped in landfill in 2018.
Without rapid reform, the fashion industry — of which fast fashion is the dominant player — could be responsible for a quarter of the Earth’s carbon budget by 2050.
Things you can do to reduce your fashion footprint:
■ Commit to wearing every piece 30 times. If we doubled the amount of time we kept clothes for, we would cut our fashion emissions by 44 percent.
■ Get smart about fibers. Cheap cotton and synthetics come with huge environmental footprints. Cotton uses unsustainable amounts of water and pesticide. Go for hemp blended with organic cotton and silk and lyocel/modal.
■ Treat cotton as a luxury fiber. Buy products certified as organic to be free of the pesticide burden and plan to keep them for years.
■ Wash clothes less often. The average laundry cycle releases hundreds of thousands of tiny fragments of plastic from synthetic fibers into waterways. Put jeans in the freezer and remove dirt when frozen. Fleeces have been shown to release the most plastic fibers.
■ Use a clothes and accessories rental service.
■ Delete shopping apps from your phone and swear off insta-shopping for fashion. Go shopping for clothes in a shop. Feel the fiber, interrogate the structure — especially the seams — and make sure it fits.
■ If dry cleaning is a must, use an eco-friendly process: conventional dry cleaning harms the soil, air and water.
Source article: http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/lang/archives/2019/09/10/2003721988/2
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