Fashion Footprint has a huge social and environmental impact in relation to energy use, water consumption, and waste produced.
Fibres like cotton need a huge quantity of water, a thirsty plant that uses over 30 000 litres to produce 1kg of cotton. Fabric’s dyeing processes can use up to 600 litres of water per 1kg of fabric. Wastewater often returns to the water source, contaminating drinking water and harming the environment.
The energy used to make clothing, from growing cotton to transporting the finished product, has a large carbon footprint for the textile industry and widespread pollution. The typical coal dependant energy in countries where clothing is produced contributes to this.
Consumers also contribute to the fashion footprint with the choices we make, affecting the world around us, from what we buy, to how we wash our clothes, to how we dispose of them can make a big difference to the environment.
Donating, reusing, recycling or upcycling unwanted clothes is something we can all do to stop clothing going to landfill. Doing this can reduce demand for new clothing, and alleviate the textile industry’s impact on people and the environment.
Microplastics are tiny particles made of plastic and are found in some synthetic clothes. They are released not only during the manufacturing process, but also every time we wash our clothes at home. Alarmingly, they have also been found on beaches, and have also entered the food chain through animals ingesting them.
At Gradus we are committed to organic, ethically sourced clothing that doesn’t harm the environment.
Cotton & pesticides
Some of the most hazardous pesticides in the world are used in cotton production. These include organophosphates, which were used to develop toxic nerve agents like those used in World War II. These pesticides are a serious danger to people, wildlife, and the environment.
“Traditionally grown, non-organic cotton accounts for 16% of global pesticide releases” The World Counts
Pesticides harm farmworkers, who come into direct contact with them and can unintentionally bring home residues to their families through the contaminated skin, hair, and clothing.
Pesticides contaminate soil and water, where they can affect the community and the environment, poisoning and causing cancer in people and wildlife alike.
Supply chain transparency
The textile industry supply chain is so large that ensuring ethical practices and responsible management is impossible for most fashion brands. Every supplier providing materials to a fashion brand has their own suppliers, contactors, and sub-contractors, many of whom can’t or won’t explain how their business operates. With so many links and so little transparency, the supply chain can be an exploitative trap for those who work within it.