As university students, we can often find ourselves trying to keep up on current fashion trends. But what we don’t think about is what happens to the items that are no longer “trendy” or how intensive the production of that new t-shirt is on the environment.  This is what makes the fashion industry one of the most polluting industries in the world. With SIB Laurier’s recent “Sustainability in Fashion” event, there has never been a better time to discuss how important sustainable fashion is in preserving our planet for future generations.

The current fashion supply chain is extremely unsustainable. For example, the production of one cotton t-shirt requires almost 3,000 liters of water. As a result, many lakes and major waterways across the world have dried up.

Once this piece is no longer in fashion, it is discarded in a landfill – up to 95% of textiles ending up in landfills! In North America alone, we throw out the equivalent weight of the Empire State Building in textiles each year. This has produced a large footprint on our planet and is why companies like H&M have decided to start new initiatives to try and alleviate this problem.

To counteract this footprint, many companies have pledged to become fully “circular” by 2030, this is done by re-using materials from old clothing to produce new items. Other companies such as Adidas have launched clothing lines entirely made from ocean plastic. Researchers have even developed a way to create leather out of grapes and orange peels. These are just a handful of innovative ideas that support sustainable fashion, with many more found here. Though the current state of the fashion industry is unsustainable, companies implementing these innovative ideas may be the key to a sustainable future. 

Original Article can be found here.

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