How energy intensive is the fashion industry?


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Who knew clothes were so energy intensive?

Yet, surely it's inevitable as one of the biggest industries worldwide?

How exactly does fashion contribute towards a carbon footprint?

As clothes are manufactured, they need to be transported globally to retailers and consumers; widespread transportation of clothes and textiles therefore leads to increased pollution. 


Top facts about the fashion industry's impact on the environment

  • Only 1/4 of all waste textiles in the west are reclaimed, the remainder goes to landfill, where they contribute to methane emissions to air and pollution of groundwater (IFM).
  • It can take around 2,700 litres of water to make the cotton needed to produce a single t-shirt. The pesticides used for growing cotton taint the water and soil causing major loss of biodiversity (WWF).
  • The washing and drying of a polyester blouse for example, uses around 6 times as much energy needed to make it (Hu).
  • The fashion industry uses 10 times more energy to produce one tonne of textiles than does the production of one tonne of glass (Conscious Challenge).
  • The UN states that the fashion industry consumes more energy than the aviation and shipping industry combined. The Pulse report forecast fashion emissions to grow by 63% by 2030 (The Guardian). 


However, it's not all doom and gloom! We've included some tips for you in the infographic below to be more conscious in the decisions you make around fashion - can you think of any more we may have missed?

Manufacturing Infographic.jpg

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