Buy fewer clothes and wash them less
The environmental cost of our clothes is adding up.
Even just washing our clothes releases plastic microfibres and other pollutants into the environment, contaminating our oceans and drinking water. Around 20 per cent of global industrial water pollution is from dyeing and textile treatment.
As consumers, this means buying less. Some studies estimate that the average garment is worn ten times before being discarded. Demand for clothing is projected to rise two per cent a year—but the number of times we wear them has dropped one third compared to the early 2000s.
This waste costs money and the value of natural resources. Of the total fibre input used for clothing, 87 per cent is incinerated or sent to landfill. Overall, one garbage truck of textiles is landfilled or incinerated every second.
Reducing the amount of clothes we buy, reusing and buying second hand items and recycling. Wash them less and smarter: use concentrated liquid soap rather than powdered detergent, which is abrasive and washes more fibers into water.
Collectively, on a large scale, reducing our environmental footprint requires cutting resource consumption and designing pollution out of clothing altogether.
We should all consider buying less clothes and washing them less. more