While the definition of sustainability is not black and white, what we do know for sure are the effects of the fashion industry on our planet.
The fashion industry is the 2nd highest polluting industry, responsible for up to 10% of the world’s carbon emissions. If we stay on this trajectory, we are on track to reach 26% by 2050 (Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 2017).
The U.S. throws away up to 11.3 million tons of textile waste each year—around 2,150 pieces of clothing every second.
Clothing manufacturers typically produce 30-40% more clothing than they plan to sell (likely to bring the per unit cost down.) The bulk of that clothing is incinerated or ends up in landfills (Bloomberg, 2022).
Approximately 60% of all materials used by the fashion industry are made from plastic (UNEP, 2019).
Around 20% of industrial wastewater pollution worldwide originates from the fashion industry (WRI, 2017).
Some 93 billion cubic meters of water—enough to meet the needs of five million people— is used by the fashion industry annually, contributing significantly to water scarcity in some regions (UNCTAD, 2020)