The fashion industry and the search for sustainability

Studying fashion is also about where our clothes come from, how they are made, and what we can expect in terms of quality and durability. Sustainability is more and more important in every sector these days!

The environmental cost of raw materials

The vast majority of clothing is made from synthetic and / or natural fibers. One can easily guess the impact that the realization of synthetic fibers such as acrylic, nylon, polyester, polyamide can have. They all come from petrochemicals (the most polluting industry in the world). Because of their origins, these fibers therefore have a negative impact on the environment. But this is also the case throughout the manufacturing process, which generates toxic waste for the rest of the life of the garment.

To produce is to pollute

All these raw materials are then worked. One thinks in particular of the dyeing of the cotton or the tanning of the leather. Operations in which chemicals are used without taking the necessary precautions, especially in low-cost producing countries. The workers are not equipped with adequate protection, the water is not treated as it should be, chemicals are dumped into waterways, which reach the rivers, then the oceans, etc.

The life of a cloth is not a long calm river

In its life cycle, the garment is worn, washed, worn, washed, etc. The use of detergents is harmful to the environment, frequent washing uses fibers, clothes containing synthetic fibers release particles into the environment, etc. Buying low-cost clothing is a vicious cycle that leads us to consume more and more clothes as they wear out prematurely. When a garment does not please us anymore, and we consider it too worn out, we may have the temptation to give it. One can have good conscience thinking that it will then be offered or recycled. The problem is that the volume of clothing is such that many actually fail landfills in Africa, China or India while the synthetic fibers they contain will take decades to degrade and continue to pollute the environment. What an infernal circle! Worse still, the production is so important that some clothes do not even find takers! New clothes are burned as explained in particular by an Independent journalist in this article about unsold H & M. An operation that is not limited to “fast fashion”, because luxury brands also use this practice to prevent unsold products from being on the market.