Tomorrow is Earth Day and Natty Gal is taking part by speaking today on the topic of waste in fashion with some statistics and resources below. I don’t want to be too preachy as many people enjoy fashion as a fun and affordable hobby but do ask that you try to be mindful of what you consume. Excess has consequences.
Enjoy the weekend – get out there and plant something, pick up some litter or just enjoy this spectacular planet we live on!
- In less than 20 years, the volume of clothing Americans toss each year has doubled from 7 million to 14 million tons.
- Currently, the average American throws away 82 pounds of clothes every single year.
- On average, only 20% of clothing donated to charity sells.
- 40% will be baled and shipped over the world.
- United States is the biggest exporter of used clothes.
- Top importing countries of used clothing are India, Russia and Pakistan.
- 84% of unwanted clothes in the United States end up in a landfill or an incinerator.
- Natural fibers in a landfill act like food waste, producing methane gas as they degrade. Chemicals from bleaches and dyes can leach into groundwater. Burning the items in incinerators can release toxins into the air.
- Synthetic fibers are essentially a petroleum based plastic that takes hundreds of years to degrade.
- Commercially scalable, closed-loop textile recycling technology is five to 10 years away, at best.
For additional information read To Die For: Is Fashion Wearing Out the World?, Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion or Naked Fashion: The New Sustainable Fashion Revolution.
Watch Minimalism, The True Cost, Sweatshop: Deadly Fashion or this brief video.
For inspiration on how to do more with less, check out how this young mother survived an experiment of wearing just six items for six weeks! And, of course, check out Natty Gal’s recent posts on capsule wardrobes.