How can I reduce the ecological impact of my fashion consumption?

Negative impacts of our (over)consumption on the environment are severe. Fortunately, there are alternative actions that each of us can easily take. In the blog post we present a short overview of the negative impacts of fashion industry and what everyone of us can change.

What are the negative impacts of the fashion industry on the environment?

The fashion industry has a huge impact on the environment. Here are some examples:

Water consumption: The production of a T-shirt and a pair of jeans requires thousands of litres of water each, from the cultivation of the raw materials to the completion of the garment.

Textile production: Most textiles are made from synthetic fibres, which are derived from petroleum. The production of synthetic fabrics releases harmful chemicals and greenhouse gases.

Waste: Cutting and sewing clothes creates waste that is often not reused or recycled. Unsold garments are also usually disposed of in the rubbish.

Transport: The fashion industry is globalised, which means that garments often have to be shipped around the world. This leads to high transport emissions and therefore an increase in carbon footprint.

Disposal: When garments are thrown away after use, it often takes years or even decades for them to biodegrade.

This environmental impact needs to be taken into account by the fashion industry and consumers to reduce environmental impact and promote more sustainable consumption and production patterns.


What does that mean in numbers?

Water consumption: The production of a single T-shirt uses an average of 2,700 litres of water. The production of one pair of jeans requires as much as 10,850 to 24,000 litres of water.

Greenhouse gas emissions: The fashion industry produces about 1.2 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases annually. This corresponds to about 10 % of global emissions.

Waste production: Every year, about 92 million tonnes of textile waste are produced worldwide. This is equivalent to a rubbish mountain of about 500,000 full rubbish trucks.

Chemical consumption: The textile industry is one of the largest consumers of chemicals in the world. Around 3000 different chemicals are needed to produce just one T-shirt.


How can I reduce the ecological impact of my fashion consumption?

Buy second hand: Use second-hand shops, online marketplaces or flea markets to buy clothes. This is a cost-effective way to be more environmentally friendly as you reduce the use of resources and save clothes from disposal.

Quality over quantity: Buying durable clothes made from quality materials helps reduce the need for new purchases, minimising wear and waste.

Choose sustainable brands: Look around and identify brands that are committed to sustainability by using certified materials, producing ethically and actively tackling waste.

Repair clothes: When clothes break or threads stick out, repair the garment instead of throwing it away.

Wash less: Excessive washing uses water, energy and chemicals. Wear clothes several times before washing them, and if you have to, wash them cold and without a dryer.

Recycle and donate: Make it a habit to recycle or donate clothes you no longer wear to reduce textile waste.


Photo by Linus Nylund Unsplash

Tool: ChatGPT