Friday, March 22

Sustainable Fashion: A Necessary Movement

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According to the Ellen McArthur Foundation, more than 100 billion articles of clothing are put into the world each year, more than half of which end up in landfills within 12 months. Large amounts of non-renewable resources are extracted to produce clothes that are often used for only a short period,  after which the materials are largely lost to land or incineration. 

We all indulge in Fashion. We all wear clothes created by a designer. But do you know that the clothes you wear might be contributing to the the toxicity of the environment. 

It has been gathered that the fashion industry is one of the dirtiest industries after the oil sector. Its bad habits have come to light – with enormous amounts of toxic waste and chemical mismanagement, unsustainable agriculture fueling raw materials, greenhouse gas emissions higher than the transportation industry and unfair labor practices for the 75 million people that mass produce the clothes.

By Ellen McArthur Foundation

Fast Fashion, which is where clothing is produced on shorter timeframes with unsustainable materials to satisfy the demand of latest trends, is becoming more prevalent. With this happening, we put our world into a growing environmental decline by increased consumption and more waste.

Textile production is one of the most polluting industries. It pushes into our atmosphere per year 1.2 billion tanners of CO2, which is harsher than the international flights and maritime shipping. It has also been said that of the fashion industry, 5% of global emissions come from it.

If you don’t know how much these numbers are, I can tell you that it’s a lot. The Fashion industry is slowing killing our world and most of us in Nigeria are oblivious to it.

In foreign countries, less than 1% of materials used to produce clothing is recycled and we in a country with little to no recycling options we should be concerned.

Olusosun dump in Lagos. Photographed by Sunday Alamba / AP

Each year 60 million tonnes of clothing are produced an by 2030 it is expected to reach a 100 million. We are living through a global crisis and we fashion purchasers and designers must do something about it.

This February and in the preceding months, the fashion industry began to wake up to the harsh realization by shifting its style in a cleaner new direction.

The Council of Fashion Designers of America, Inc launched a sustainability report for the then-upcoming New York Fashion Week. It was a collection of practical advice for designers and brands including a directory for safe and sustainable materials and ‘how-to’ manuals for companies to create sustainable roadmaps.

New York Fashion Week designers and experts then integrated these practices. A ‘Fashion for Peace’ show for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) designers like Norma Kamali and Mimi Prober was held. London Fashion week also followed the same pattern and went fur-free for the second time.

Sustainable fashion brand ‘Mother of Pearl’ also joined the movement by partnering with BBC to host educational talks on sustainable practices to change the fashion industry.

With problems there are always solutions and the Nigerian Nation needs to find solutions with what’s happening in our corner of the world. With the use of Ankara fabrics for fashion, manufactures must create ways to recycle them and or make them more sustainable.

Brands must be creative with natural materials and use more sustainable fabrics. Recycling of plastics into fabric is a way of reducing the footprint. Clothing company, Patagonia made a polyester fleece jacket from recycled bottles, and recycling polyester requires less energy than original productions, reducing emissions, and is becoming more common by an increasing number of brands. We can also get back to slow fashion by using higher quality garments with longer life and utilization. Designers must create clothing for life and not just a season.

Fashion consumers also need make changes and not purchase every new fashion trend that will maybe only last for 5 months. According to The Week, “Fast fashion companies thrive off our demand as consumers, so to address the problem we need to address our own addiction.”

We need to educate ourselves and know what impact the clothing we wear has on our earth and our Nigeria.

If you’ll like to get involved in this movement, get educated through the Ellen McArthur Foundation Report HERE

Sources – Landscape News, Ellen McArthur Foundation, Nature Research Journal, The Week Uk



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Social Media and Content Analyst at Eve Afrique “I plan to retire at 40 and take care of animals in the zoo I’ll have in my home.”

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