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  • Writer's pictureKatie Flynn

Sustainability in Fashion

5 Facts About Fashion's Impact On The Planet

Yesterday, April 22, was Earth Day! It's my favorite day of the year for a lot of reasons, but mainly because of the amazing conversations we all have about how to protect our beautiful home. I've been able to attend a lot of virtual events this week and listened to List Perfectly's fantastic Earth Day podcast episode, so I wanted to share some of the knowledge I've gained about sustainability and how it's tied to fashion!

1. Fashion is the 3rd most polluting industry when it comes to carbon emissions, and accounts for 10% of carbon emissions worldwide.

2. Fashion is the 2nd most polluting industry when it comes to water, producing 20% of wastewater. It takes roughly 5 gallons to make just one t-shirt, and even more to make a pair of jeans.

3. It's expected that fashion waste will increase by 148 million tons by 2030. 64% of the 32 BILLION garments produced each year end up in a landfill.

4. 85% of what is donated to thrift stores is never sold or never makes it to the shelves, to begin with.

5. 60% of Millenials say they'd like to shop more sustainably! Reselling an item of clothing actually reduces its carbon footprint by 79%!!

These five facts are just the tip of the iceberg! It's so important that we continue the conversations we have on Earth Day, every day. We have the potential to really make an impact by changing how the fashion industry operates!

Reuse or upcycle items in other ways when they reach the end of their lifespan! Consider participating in clothing swaps or selling your items online, donate them to thrift stores, or give them to someone in need when you no longer use them, but they are still in good condition!

Shop sustainably whenever you can! As Alex Shadrow (@sustainabae on IG) says, brands that are doing it right will let you know they are. Brands that are silent about their methods of manufacturing and efforts to be sustainable, are probably doing it wrong. In List Perfectly's Seller Community Podcast, hosted by Liz O'Kane (@coloradoreworn on IG) and Doug Smith (@snoop.dougie on IG), Alex lists several of her favorite sustainable brands! Personally, after listening, I know I'll be switching from Nike to Adidas for sure.

Let's be honest though, we all know that sustainable brands can cost a little bit more. You're paying a premium price for a premium product that will last you so much longer, but that's not accessible for everyone. That's where shopping secondhand comes in!

Bonus fact!! An increase of just 10% in second-hand clothing sales could cut carbon emissions per ton of clothing by 3% and water use by 4%!

We can all shop smarter and more sustainably by thrifting or shopping online platforms like Poshmark, Depop, and Mercari! Plus, there's always that super awesome feeling of scoring a piece you've been dying to find for a great price, and knowing you helped the planet at the same time!

I'm so grateful for the awesome events I was able to attend this week and for Alex Shadrow, Al Gore Certified Climate Leader, for sharing her expansive knowledge of sustainability in the fashion industry. I learned so much and she's actually inspired me to get Al Gore Certified myself! I'm excited to learn more about what we can do to help protect the Earth!

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