Sustainability & Fashion

leaves hang on rope
Photo by Designecologist on


Sustainability means the ability to be maintained at a certain level. In the case of the environment, it is defined as the avoidance of the depletion of natural resources to maintain ecological balance

In simple words

How much we consume from nature
How much nature can regenerate back
How much waste we put into nature
And the ability of nature to decompose the waste

There are 3 pillars of sustainability or 3P’s
Economic – Profit
Social- People
Environment – Planet

The fashion industry is the second-largest polluter in the world and the first or second-largest source of employment in many countries, the ecological impact of the fashion industry is enormous. Few statistics related to the fashion industry are

  • the fashion industry creates 6.7%of global climate impact
  • 80 billion of new clothing produced each year that is 400% more what we buy 2 decades ago this figures will be doubled by the year 2030 and 80% of these will land up in landfills or incinerators
  • 90% of the fashion workforce is not in a position to negotiate on their wages and working conditions
  • Average American dumps 82 pounds of fashion waste every year adding 11 million tonnes from the US alone
  • The fashion industry has 52 micro seasons per year as compared to 2 seasons a decade ago
  • Marine pollution created by the fashion industry is at 3rd position
  • 2.5 billion tons of wastewater is discharged annually in the textile industry
  • 80-150 L of water is used to produce 1 kg of fabrics
  • Average pair of jeans requires 200 to 300 litres of water to finish
  • Textile effluent is a toxic cocktail of inorganic and organic chemicals requiring multi-stage treatment
    These substances have high chemical oxygen demand (COD), Biological oxygen demand (BOD), total dissolved/suspended solids (TDS or TSS), pH extremes (acidic/basic), and low dissolved oxygen (DO) content
    Organic compounds deplete DO during biodegradation, stifling aquatic organisms and plants
  • Garments are the 2nd highest at-risk product category for modern slavery

Fashion is a complex business involved non-transparent supply chain of raw materials, production, and disposal
The fast-fashion culture makes a huge ecological and social impact around the world. The fast fashion cycle triggers a low-cost sourcing model this makes it unsustainable for people and planet
Fashion sustainability should be addressed in a holistic way that maintains ecological boundaries whilst respecting and protecting human rights


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s