Water is one of the most overlooked issues in the fashion industry. With climate change and all, one that needs to be solved immediately. Don’t you agree?
Water is scarce!
Only 2.5% of our blue resources are actually fresh water while more than 40% of the planet’s population suffer from water scarcity. Translating into more than 840 million people who still lack basic access to clean drinking water.
Did you know roughly 17 to 20% of industrial water pollution is owed to fabric dyes and finishing chemicals used to make our clothes? This water contains hormone-altering chemicals, colored dyes, and cleaning solvents that alter the pH, oxygen, nitrogen, and phosphorous levels in rivers. This contamination has been linked with increased rates of cancer, asthma, and workers have experienced second and third degree burns from the handling of chemicals. The majority of this contamination is seen in nations such as Indonesia, China, India and Bangladesh where textile manufacturing is less strictly regulated.
Clothing and textiles are the no. 1 source of primary microplastics in our oceans and rivers. (IUCN 2017) When washed, synthetic clothes (made of nylon, acrylic, and polyester) releases tiny bits of plastic into our water system. Although humans do not eat micro-plastics directly, those micro particles still make their way up in our food chain. In fact, on average we ingest more than 5,800 particles of micro-plastic a year, and if we do not reduce our use of synthetic materials, the number will keep on rising.
Environmental impacts of EU consumption of textiles and clothing are difficult to estimate due to their diversity and the fact that they occur around the globe. A 2006 Joint Research Centre (JRC) report estimated that while food and drink, transport and private housing account for 70 to 80% of the environmental impact of EU consumption, clothing dominates the rest with a contribution of 2 to 10% depending on the type of impact. A 2017 report by Global Fashion Agenda (GFA), estimated the EU's environmental footprint caused by the consumption of textiles at 4 to 6%. Going into more detail, the 2017 Pulse of the Fashion Industry report, put together by GFA and the Boston Consulting Group, estimated that in 2015, the global textiles and clothing industry was responsible for the consumption of 79 billion cubic metres of water, 1,715 million tons of CO2 emissions and 92 million tons of waste. It also estimated that by 2030, under a business-as-usual scenario, these numbers would increase by at least 50%.
kind of different
Water First Approach
We need to rethink how clothes are made. We believe it’s time to put water first – not last.
We focus on things you need. Some crazy stuff, some basic stuff.
2. Made to last
High quality and timeless design are the keys to make better things.
We choose to use less water intensive materials. Locally grown, better for you and the planet.
We work with world leading manufacturers, advanced technologies and farsighted partners.
5. Clean water
We pay reparations to countries affected by the textile industry. Together with Drip by Drip.
6. The Blue Cost
We show you how much water went into the making of our garments.