One’s fashion statement starts defining his or her image and it becomes an integral part of lifestyle. Often time we do not realise the actual price that we pay for our fashion. Today we would like to discuss some of the facts and figures to see if it worth looking for who make our clothes and how it is manufactured. If we can change one person’s observation of fashion, that’s worth my effort to write this article.
Every large scale consumer product manufacturing has its own impact on the environment, if it manufactures products only with a motto, fulfilling uncanny market demands. Mr. Eileen Fisher, a clothing industry magnate gave this surprising statement “Fashion is the 2nd largest polluting industry in the world” at Manhattan. In the FMCG aura, clothes are available at such a low cost that most consumers consider clothing as disposable. The customers with overloaded wardrobes don’t realise some of their clothes are made by ill labours practices and discharge toxicity in the environment which inverse effect everyone in the ecosystem.
The 2013 Rana Plaza incident at Dhaka, Bangladesh is an example of the most fatal impact on socio-cultural sector by the textile industry being the deadliest garment-factory accident in the world history. 1100 died and 2200 injured. Several garment workers were forced by the authority to go back to work to such a building where cracks were already found. It makes us speechless that the factories present there were not making apparels for local companies but for international well known fashion brands. A big question – what price are we paying?
The word ‘fast fashion’ has changed the world and people in urban lifestyle. Beside the change, it invites 25% of the world’s chemicals to the textile production. Around 10% of the world’s global carbon emissions is generated by the apparel & textile industry. Jeans need around 3,000 litres to make one piece and one t-shirt needs almost 2,500 litres leading to water scarcity. A recent study reveals that an organisation doing study at Tirupur, Tamil Nadu advised the manufacturing industries to opt for ZLD (Zero Liquid Discharge) after finding huge amount of sulphide at the soil by dyeing/bleaching, processing units.
Now the question arises – Does it worth buying clothes knowing all the specifications of manufacturing? The answer is YES, it does. As a conscious buyer, it is a basic right. Recent trend shows, lot of fashion companies are inclined towards sustainable and ethical clothing with a fair trade practice. We are leaving the discussion of ethical clothing for another day.