In 2018, the world is more obsessed with fast fashion than ever. We’re buying more and throwing away more, and it’s having a detrimental impact on our environment.
From over-farming cotton to chemical use in the manufacturing process, there are lots of ways that that new winter wardrobe is damaging not only your bank account but the Earth, too.
In the run up to London Fashion week, here are five reasons to switch up your wardrobe and start avoiding fast fashion for the good of the planet.
The dying process
Globally, chemical use in the clothing dying process is the second largest pollutant of clean water. Last year, Greenpeace conducted research on a number of garments from big brands, and confirmed the presence of banned, hazardous substances on every item.
The chemicals used by clothing manufacturers can be carcinogenic and have negative effects on hormones.
Make sure to check clothing labels for words like ‘antibacterial’, ‘wrinkle-free’ and ‘stain-resistant’ – all of these can imply that potentially harmful chemicals have been involved at some point in production.
Polyester is a popular material because of its durability and cost, but when put into the washing machine, polyester garments shed microfibres.
These tiny bits of polyester pass through water treatment plants easily, and end up adding to already rising levels of plastic in our oceans, which can be detrimental to marine life.
Where possible, avoid Polyester and go for more natural products like hemp.
Unsustainability of cotton farming
Although it’s widely used in more ‘eco-friendly’ clothing options, cotton farms account for 16% of the world’s insecticide releases.
Most commonly used is aldicarp, a chemical that can be fatal to humans. Not only is it harmful for the individuals working in cotton production, but traces of these chemicals remain on your garments, even when they’re hung in your wardrobe at home.
Try to choose clothes that are made from organic cotton instead.
Investing money in good-quality, ethical garments can save your bank account in the long run. Instead of buying and throwing away an entire wardrobe every season, try to choose items that you’ll happily wear for the next few winters.
Go for things that’ll last longer, so you don’t have to contribute to the millions of tonnes of clothing that end up in landfill every year.
It was recently discovered that leading fashion house Burberry burned almost £30m of unsold clothing, accessories and perfume last year. According to the BBC, lots of companies are often taking part in what’s considered fashion’s “dirtiest open secret”.
If the fashion industry continues to excuse such behaviour from not just Burberry, but the many other multi-million-pound fashion brands, the environmental damage could be “potentially catastrophic”.
There are brands out there that are already offering ‘refurbished’ versions of their clothing that has been thrown away, including North Face.
Do some research and see if you can pick up a refurbished item next time you make a big purchase – you might just save yourself some money too!
A note on eco-washing
While awareness of eco-friendly fashion is definitely on the rise, we’re encouraging people to think about the products they use to wash their clothes too.
Conventional laundry products tend to include ingredients that are derived from petroleum, that are non-biodegradable, and that are harmful to our water systems.
Switch to an eco-friendly option such as our own Lavender laundry liquid to get the same results without the same environmental damage.
Our aim at Bio-D is to make products which don’t cost the Earth, and we work consistently across all our production processes, from the ingredients we put in our bottles to the packaging we use to make them, to protect our planet. Thank you for your support!