Year after year, the number of fashion companies accused of actions such as increasing their carbon footprint, generating toxic waste or polluting the environment is growing. Therefore, every conscious consumer should be aware of how much damage the clothes we buy can cause
Carbon footprint is defined as the total sum of greenhouse gas emissions caused directly or indirectly by a product, organization, person or event. These include both carbon dioxide and methane, which contribute to a steady increase in the earth’s temperature. The carbon footprint allows you to analyze the natural resources used by humans and test the planet’s ability to regenerate them.
Perhaps not everyone is aware of it, but before a new piece of clothing reaches our hands, it travels a very long way (referred to as the global supply chain). To find out where it comes from, all it takes is a glance at the label. It is much cheaper to produce clothes in less developed countries, even if they require long-distance transportation. We are talking about countries such as China, India, Bangladesh, Vietnam or Cambodia. The high carbon footprint here is influenced by both transport and the production of the clothes themselves. The global garment industry relies on fossil fuels to fuel the boilers in textile mills, to produce pesticides for cotton plantations and to create chemicals used to dye fabrics. Crude oil is the raw material for synthetic fibers such as polyester and acrylic, among others. It cannot be ignored that washing, ironing and drying clothes requires a lot of energy. Unnecessary clothes ending up in landfills take thousands of years to decompose. According to research, the clothing industry generates as much as 92,000,000 pieces of waste each year.
How do you spread fashion awareness to consumers around the world? To do so, online fashion retailer ThredUp has developed an innovative tool to calculate the impact of individual consumption behaviors on carbon footprint production. How to use it? Just go to its website and find the Fashion Footprint Calculator. It consists of 11 questions that allow you to assess the environmental impact of clothing and the size of the carbon footprint for a given individual. The test covers topics such as how often you shop, what clothes you choose most often, shopping in stationary stores or online, returning clothes, and how often you wash them. With the test, you can know your individual carbon output and average carbon footprint. The calculator allows everyone to understand how much of an impact fashion has on the environment. In addition to the questions, there are also a number of practical tips and research results. From the site, you can learn, among other things, that jeans have as much as 5 times the carbon footprint of a T-shirt and that by opting out of express delivery, you reduce your carbon footprint by up to half.
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