In this blog post we will talk about the environment, which you'll know is a subject that is very important to us and one that we put at the heart of the development of our company.
Our planet has been suffering, for years. With the arrival of industrialisation at the end of the 19th century, our lifestyle, the way we produce things, consumption, etc… have greatly changed.
Having a positive impact on many sectors, so example the economy has grown dramatically with increased trade, in politics where global agreements have become the norm and we've all been accustomed to a comfortable lifestyle.
But what about the environment?
The environment has, unfortunately suffered greatly since the industrial revolution.
Our environment surrounds us and allows us to live, so why not put it at the centre of our discussions? Something that we have seen recently with protests from Extinction Rebeillion and youth strike against climate change.
We've also seen a huge increase in talk about climate change following David Attenborough's blue planet 2 and climate change, the facts, as well as promises by our governments to significantly reduce the use of single use plastics as well as a general shift in the way of thinking in today's society. These actions demonstrate that we can change little by little our ecological problems.
Since the industrial revolution - the introduction of mass farming, plastic, convenient living, fast fashion and all the other 'new' ways of living, pollution has increased dramatically pushing our planet to a critical stage.
Human activities such as the use of fossil fuels, the exploitation of tropical forests, and mass livestock farming are increasing the effect on the climate and temperature of the earth.
Even though these activities have helped the development of our species, they release huge amounts of greenhouse gases [Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) are gases that absorb part of the sun's rays by redistributing them in the form of radiation in the Earth's atmosphere, a phenomenon known as the greenhouse effect.]. These greenhouse gases are added to those naturally present in the atmosphere, adding to the greenhouse effect and global warming.
This brings us to talk about global warming ....
The temperature of our planet continues to increase, the last century has been much hotter than the previous ones on record. Largely because of human activities such as increased consumption, we have now reached a critical threshold of global warming.
The increase of greenhouse gases is having many repercussions on our planet, many problems are linked to it; such as: Increased levels of the oceans, temperature, natural disasters, the disappearance of species of animals and many other's being added to the 'endangered' list ...
I’m sure you are wondering why we, a clothing brand, are writing about climate change and are wondering to yourself “What does fashion have to do with climate change?”
To start with, by definition the textile industry (responsible for the design, manufacture and marketing of textiles) and all our clothing.
This industry has existed for many centuries and has evolved as we have. It is a perfect example of a sector that experienced huge development and growth during the 19th and 20th centuries.
But the rise of this industry has not been favorable to the environment ... The textile industry is considered one of the most polluting industries in the world along with the oil industry, agriculture and transport.
Its greenhouse gas emission rates are estimated between 3% and 10% of global CO2 emissions and greenhouse gases are the main source responsible for altering the temperature of our planet.
The extractions of precious non-renewable resources, burial or incineration without recycling products, discharge of polluting gases from factories ... are only some of the aspects that make this industry very polluting.
With the international division of labor, clothes are designed and made different places, increasing the use of transport.
Ultimately the more we use transportation, the more pollution we create…
Take the example of the creation of 1 standard non-organic cotton t-shirt. It’s carbon footprint is estimated at 5kg (almost 20 times its weight), 3750 litres of chemically infiltrated water is needed to produce the cotton (about 20 baths) and approximately 40000km would be traveled to reach their destination (more than the Earth's turn).
In China, 70% of rivers are polluted because of this industry.
Some global organisations such as Greenpeace (detox campaign) have shed light on the harmful substances from textiles and released into the environment that are extremely polluting as well as documentaries such as river blue.
So what can we do about it?
Although this all seems a little bit sad, it is important to note that there are ways that we can make positive steps to be more environmentally friendly within our wardrobe. 5 simple tips are:
1/ In the words of Vivienne Westwood 'Buy less, choose well' - When purchasing new items of clothing, it's important to think to yourself, will I wear this 100time? Do I love it? Will it go with the rest of my wardrobe? - If the answer is 'yes' then go for it!
2/ 'Make it last'. Treat your clothes with respect, only wash them when they need a wash, washing clothes regularly degrades them and means that they will wear out quicker. Don't tumble dry them, line dry is always better and replace the button that falls off rather than throw away the garment.
3/ Choose clothes that are well made, check the seams, check the quality of the fabric and buy from brands that actually care about making clothes to last.
4/ Check what the garment is made from, is it a natural fibre, linen, organic cotton, hemp? Will it bio-degrade when it is finished with? Avoid synthetics like the plague - Polyester, Nylon and blends are literally plastic and are heavily polluting during the making of the fibre - during their use they shed micro-plastics and after their use they will not bio-degrade - much like a plastic bag (not to mention they are extremely sweaty to wear!)
5/ And finally, try to buy as locally as you can, where possibly buy 'made in your own country' check the origin, where was the fabric grown, woven / knitted? Where was it stitched? Buying locally really helps to cut down on the environmental impact.
We hope that has helped to shed some light on climate change, it's causes and how the fashion industry is connected - as well as how we can begin to fix this problem...because we can fix this problem, if we work together!