Did you know that the clothing industry is the second largest polluter in the world? Yes, that’s right. Some 72 toxic chemicals reach our water supply from textile dyeing. Many of these chemicals cannot be filtered or removed. Couple that with the carbon emmissions from manufacturing, the waste from off-cuts and time-limited use of fast fashion, and the garment industry is a potent, filthy quagmire.
1. TEXTILE INDUSTRY: Second largest polluter
The World Bank estimates that almost 20% of global industrial water pollution comes from the treatment and dyeing of textiles.
2. COTTON PRODUCTION
Cotton is used by nearly every person on the planet on a daily basis and the fact is that we consider our wardrobe incomplete without it but the scary fact is that cotton production accounts for 2.6% of annual global water usage as cotton is a water thirsty plant. It is also one of the most chemically dependent crops in the world
3. TOXIC CHEMICALS
Millions of gallons of wastewater discharged by mills each year contain chemicals such as formaldehyde (HCHO), chlorine and heavy metals such as lead and mercury. These chemicals cause both environmental damage and human disease.
4. Water Usage:
The textile industry is one of the most chemically intensive industries on earth. It takes about 500 gallons of water to produce enough fabric to cover one sofa.
Half a billion people already live in regions prone to chronic drought, and by 2025, that number is likely to have increased five-fold which is between one-third and one-half of the entire world population.
5. WATER POLLUTION
A mere 2.5% of Earth's water is freshwater and only 0.3% of it is readily accessible to humans. This is equivalent to 0.01% of all water on Earth. Out of this fraction, 8% is used for domestic use, 22% is used by industry, and 70% for irrigation.
According to a research, humanity's water footprint will reach a level 40% above reliable, accessible water supplies by 2030.
Laundry detergents is another factor in water pollution.
6. SOLID WASTE POLLUTION:-
The majority of textile solid wastes are fibers, yarns, fabrics, packaging waste, dye containers, chemical containers, dirt, waxes, wasted sludge and retained sludge, paper, cartons, etc. The hazardous solid wastes are the sludge, the dye and chemical containers, as they contain toxic material, and dealing with wastes for disposal may expose the workers to toxic effects.
7. PESTICIDES POISONING AROUND THE GLOBE
Farmers in the United States use nearly one-third of a pound of chemical fertilizers and pesticides for every pound of cotton harvested.
In California, five out of the top nine pesticides used for cotton are cancer-causing chemicals (cyanazine, dicofol, naled, propargite and trifluralin).
In Egypt, more than 50% of cotton workers in the 1990's suffered symptoms of chronic pesticide poisoning, including neurological and vision disorders.
In India, 91% of male cotton workers who were exposed to pesticides eight hours or more per day experienced some type of health disorder, including chromosomal aberrations, cell death and cell cycle delay.
In the US, a 1987 National Cancer Institute Study found a nearly seven-fold higher risk of leukemia for children whose parents used pesticides in their homes or gardens.
The World Health Organization estimates that at least three million people are poisoned by pesticides every year and 20-40,000 more are killed.
8. Plastic waste
A new study, Plastic waste inputs from land into the ocean, published in the journal Science, estimated that plastic debris washing into the ocean from 192 coastal countries reached somewhere between 4.8 and 12.7 million metric tons in 2010. That’s enough to cover every foot of coastline in the world (That’s right! ) not to mention the threats it is causing to marine life.
9. GREEN HOUSE EFFECT
The textile industry is huge, and it is a huge producer of greenhouse gasses (GHG’s). Today’s textile industry is one of the largest sources of greenhouse gasses on Earth, due to this huge size. In 2008, annual global textile production was estimated at 60 billion kilograms (KG) of fabric. The estimated energy and water needed to produce that amount of fabric startles the mind
10. River Basin impacts
Unsustainable cotton farming, with massive inputs of water and pesticides, has already been responsible for the destruction of large-scale ecosystems such as the Aral Sea in central Asia and the deteriorating health and livelihoods of the its inhabitants.
The Good News
The world clearly needs sustainable fashion products which not only satisfy customers but are also eco-friendly. Feeling this need, many environmentally concious brands, such as OORR, are coming forward with creative eco apparel. Products offered by OORR include cycling apparel, recycled jerseys, bio bottles and eco caps. The good news is there is no compromise on the quality and performance of OORR products or many others in this space.
By focusing on the use of recycled and sustainable materials for production, consumers are now more than ever given a choice when on the hunt for fashion. Little effort is required to find an eco-friendly alternative – just ask google!
For a list of cycling related, earth friendly retailers you can visit http://oorr.com.au/pages/links-credits
So, now you can not only enjoy your lively experiences but in the meantime, also save mother earth. Sounds cool? Right.
OORR currently offering discounted cycling jerseys in anticipation of the 2016 Kickstarter launch of new cycling and fitness apparel that will blow your mind.