While most of you are aware that the textile industry has terrible consequences for humans - we still remember in particular the collapse of the Rana Plaza in Bangladesh in 2013 killing more than 1.130 - some do not know that it is also in the top 3 of the most polluting industries in the world.
But for what reasons?
1. The textile fibers of our clothes, even the natural ones!
There are three types of textile fibers:
The natural fibers which are directly produced by nature: cotton, cashmere, wool, silk… for the most famous.
The so-called chemical fibers which consist of artificial fibers manufactured from raw materials using chemical and polluting processes, such as viscose for example, to name but one.
The synthetic fibers made from petroleum (and yes, we are talking about the most polluting industry here) or coal: elastane, polyacrylic, polyester ...
Cotton is the most produced natural fiber in the world but also… the most polluting! Why ? It is a fragile tropical plant whose culture requires heat, sun, and above all a lot of water. Conditions that are also very conducive to attack by insects, viruses or fungi. For this, cotton farmers are forced to use large amounts of pesticides that harm both their health, but also the environment. The amount of water needed to grow cotton is enormous! According to Greenpeace, it takes on average 2.500 liters of water for the production of a single t-shirt and 7.000 liters (or the equivalent of 285 showers) water for that of jeans.
Faced with these consequences, organic cotton appears to be a fair alternative to reduce water consumption and avoid the use of pesticides.
The majority of dyes used to color our clothes are chemical. Also applied for the tanning of leather, these dyes contain heavy metals like chlorine. These are all chemical substances released into the environment and harmful to health that are used to color our clothes, regardless of the starting fiber.
Whether it is from the fields to the assembly factories, from these to the stalls of your favorite stores, the journey is long and very greedy in oil. According to the Environment and Energy Management Agency, jeans can travel up to 65.000 km between the cotton field and the store!
As mentioned in our article “Adopting slow fashion: instructions for use”, washing your clothes, in addition to damaging them, requires a significant consumption of water and releases chemicals.
The life cycle of a garment, from the collection of the textile fibers that constitute it to its manufacture, including the dyeing process, is ultimately very long and continues, at each of its stages, to produce and emit polluting elements that are harmful to the health of humans and our planet. The best way to reduce this impact and to pay attention to the clothes you buy: raw materials, places of production, type of dyeing, manufacturing process, etc. And to favor brands that place respect for people and the environment at the heart of their strategy, such as those you can find on our Shop.