Wardrobe Basic Has Complex Issue; the Story of the Cotton Tee and the Effect It Has on Our Planet

Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia), May 18, 2019 | Go to article overview

Wardrobe Basic Has Complex Issue; the Story of the Cotton Tee and the Effect It Has on Our Planet


Byline: WORDS: BROOKE STYLES

Sir David Attenborough said it: "If we don't change our ways within the next 12 years our carbon footprint will be irreversible."

The documentary legend is taking matters into his own hands with the release of his series Our Planet (which is a must watch). Meanwhile, other celebrities such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Justin Beiber and Arianna Grande have banded together to raise funds for environmental awareness.

But what does this have to do with fashion? Well, a lot actually.

Fast fashion dominates the fashion industry by providing the cheap knock-off designer wear that is made at mass production and lower quality. Their rapid turnover of styles allows the fashion conscious millennial to keep up with the latest trends. However, even though they are cheap as chips they are coming at a great cost to our planet.

Now I totally believe that the more stuff you have means more happiness, when we're talking strawberry milkshakes and adopting kitties, but these fast fashion giants have thrived on the insatiable culture that leads us to believe that we are only happier with more "stuff". But where does all that stuff go?

As a consumer, you'd think fashion seasons were the usual summer, autumn, winter and spring. But fast fashion is simply business and like any business they want to make money and to make more money you need a little more than four seasons a year. Instead, the industry has 52 micro seasons a year. Fast fashion has a season for each week of the year. In Australia, an average of 27kg of new textiles are bought by one Australian each year with 23 of those getting discarded straight into landfill.

So we make a lot of waste, but it doesn't end there.

Annually, around the world we sell and buy two million T-shirts. Most of them begin at a farm in either America, China or India where cottonseed is sown, irrigated and grown for the fluffy balls they produce. …

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