Whilst many of us love our fashion, we have a problem. Developed countries are over-consuming clothing. Back in the 1930s, for example a typical American owned 9 outfits. Today, that number is 64. It’s not just the US, globally we buy four times the number of clothes that we did in the 1990s. Yet it is estimated that we wear just 20% of our wardrobe items regularly. It creates an impact on both the environment and exploitation of garment workers… read more
It creates an impact on both the environment and exploitation of garment workers:
Cotton production represents 2.5% of crops but uses 16% of the world’s pesticides. There is also a high usage of petrochemicals in synthetics as well as other processes such as bleaching, dyeing and finishing, contributing further pollutants to the environment.
It takes 10,000 Litres of clean water to produce one pair of jeans. A garment worker can be paid as little as €0.35 to make them.
Clothing manufacturing is amongst the most exploitative industries in the world. Workers are some of the lowest paid and 85% of them are women. 12-16 hour days are typical with pay rates around €60pm – well below a living wage. The collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh, killing over 1100 people further highlighted the appalling work conditions.