No matter what, your clothing has an impact. In how it is made, used, and disposed of, at every step of a garments lifecycle different impacts affect economies, environments, social structures, and cultures locally and throughout the world. These impacts can be perceived as positive or negative depending on the desired outcome of the producer and the user. Some outcomes producers and consumers may not be aware they are participating in or supporting because of lack of transparency and public knowledge concerning clothing supply chains. This means that by default, our actions are tied to outcomes that may not represent our personal values, but due to cultural norms we participate in, and therefore support systems, structures, and outcomes that go against our personal values and morals.
Here are some quick facts about clothing, to learn more click the link at the bottom of this section.
25 % of chemicals produced worldwide are produced for the global textile industry (Fletcher, 2016)
20 % of global industrial water pollution comes from textile dyeing and finishing. (Fletcher, 2016)
132 billion pounds of textiles and footwear are burned or landfilled every year in the world (Fletche, 2016)
1,900 synthetic particles of plastic per wash are drained into local waterways every time a synthetic garment is washed (Fletcher, 2014).
The following is a list of the average percentage that is paid to a garment worker of a living wage within that given country (Blanchard, 2017).
Mexican: 67% of a living wage (the closest any nation comes to paying a living wage)
Guatemala: 50% of a living wage
China: 36% of a living wage
Vietnam: 29% of a living wage
Haiti: 24% of a living wage
Cambodia: 19% of a living wage
Bangladesh: 14% of a living wage
Between 1/6th and 1/7th of all women in the world are employed through the global fashion and textile industry (Ditty, 2017)
Arguably, this makes it the biggest contributor to the gender wage gap throughout the world. Within the clothing industry there are parallels and strong ties to sex slavery and the sex trade, primarily that they depend on females of the same age, class, and education around the world for their labor (Moore, 2016).
The average garment designed in the fashion industry is designed to last six months.
When garments are designed to last for a limited amount of time it creates a cycle of dependence because the garment is not made of quality materials to be maintained, so the wearer must return to the store to repurchase clothing on a regular basis.
Mending, making, and altering the look of your clothing has also not always been valued or considered fashionable. Thus the clothing industry has