Environmental protection is at the forefront of everyone’s minds. People may disagree on the ways in which we tackle our environmental concerns, but at the heart of the differing opinions, everyone feels the same; we all want a thriving planet.
When we look at the data, we can clearly see that there are certain industries that exacerbate the environmental crisis. The textile manufacturing industry is at the forefront of this. This is because the textile industry, which supplies the fashion industry, impacts its local environment in very specific ways.
The consistent demand for more fabric and new garments
We all require new clothes regularly. Clothes become worn, children outgrow their clothes, and our taste preferences change. This is not the demand that makes the fashion industry so devastating to our natural environment. It is the fast fashion sector that produces low-quality garments that discolour, stretch, tear, or become damaged very easily and quickly, meaning, that you need to replace the item.
This means textiles manufacturers have a higher demand. They use more resources (wastefully) and the cheap prices mean consumers generally don’t mind frequently replacing garments.
Textile manufacturers are among the world’s worst pollutions. It also accounts for 10% of all human carbon emissions and ranks as the second-largest contributor to plastic pollution in the ocean. The Quantis International 2018 reports specifically mentioned the processes that are the most harmful to the environment: dyeing and finishing (36%), yarn preparation (28%) and fibre production (15%). The damage isn’t only in the manufacturing process, it also lies in the textiles used. It takes hundreds of years for polyester, nylon and acrylic to biodegrade. When plastic biodegrades in the ocean, it becomes extremely harmful microplastic, posing a significant threat to sea life.
The danger of microplastic to our health
Microplastic is defined as “extremely small pieces of plastic debris in the environment resulting from the disposal and breakdown of consumer products and industrial waste.” These tiny pieces of plastic do not only pollute and poison natural ecosystem, they also end up in our food and medicinal products, causing health concerns. It is estimated that most people consume around a credit card’s worth of plastic each week. This directly translates into serious conditions: endocrine disruption, weight gain, insulin resistance, decreased reproductive health, and cancer.
How to recognise sustainable fashion
By supporting sustainable brands, you can expect to pay more for your garments but you will have a far longer lifetime on the fabrics. You’ll also contribute towards a more sustainable world in which people are creating beautiful items ethically. You can learn to identify sustainable fashion by asking yourself the following questions when you find a garment you like:
The Naeco Touch
Have you read about Naeco’s unique approach to textile manufacturing and clothing production? Every stage of our process is completely ethical. We value each person that works for us and we have a zero-waste policy in our cutting rooms (even our threads and cuttings are reused). All of our fabrics are sustainably produced and take active steps against pollution. Learn more about it by visiting our About Us page.