No matter where you look, you’ll see someone’s actions negatively affecting the planet. And if you ask anyone on the street about it, they will tell you they noticed it too. But what are we doing about it?
For most people, the answer is nothing. Usually, the excuse is along the lines of "I cannot be the driver of change." With globalization, the world has gotten so big, but the individuals have gotten so small. When we see just how massive some industries are and read about all the troubling things they cause, we feel helpless.
How can just one person change the reality of billions?
When you look at it from that perspective and with such a mindset, one person can’t do anything. But, if you decide to throw a rock in the lake, you will notice that even the smallest pebble can cause huge ripples. As our CEO has said: “Strength, Determination, and Community are always at the forefront of our minds in everything we do.”
That’s how we are approaching it. We don’t expect to change the world overnight. We don’t think we can cause a massive shift in people’s minds in one fell swoop. However, we know that if we work diligently, if we share our beliefs and values, if we give back to our community, we can start making ripples. We can change one life, one mindset, and then two, and then three...
So, we have decided to give it a shot and see how far we can get.
One of Our Starting Points: Eco-Friendly Fashion
Why is eco-friendly fashion important? What difference does it make?
Since fashion is an ever-evolving field where creativity knows no bounds, billions of items are made each year, just to be thrown away the next.
That, of course, means that the fashion industry is currently one of the major polluters. Distribution and production of clothes and accessories often leads to air, water, and soil pollution.
Furthermore, the textile industry is the second most significant threat to freshwater. As new collections hit the stores, production increases, and that only leads to more pollution and increased environmental hazards.
Unfortunately, most factories making your favorite tees and jeans don’t have any incentive to start taking care of their environment.
Since the global fashion industry is worth about $1.5 trillion and growing in value, and since no one is pressuring it to become eco-friendly, its adverse effects can and probably will keep growing. So, we have decided to make the first move and wake everyone up.
Negative Eco-Effects of Fashion/Fashion Industry
We live in an age of consumerism, and today, not many companies are willing to invest in keeping our environment safe, because not being eco-friendly has no impact on their bottom line. It is something that affects all of us, and yet, they are unwilling to make a difference.
- Carbon Footprint
Among the biggest problems of the fashion industry is its carbon footprint. It comprises 10% of global carbon emissions. When we take a look at an off-shore company, it’s evident that the product has to reach consumers in the U.S. By doing so, there is an unnecessary increase in carbon emission. With every mile the shipment takes to reach us, we burn more and more fossil fuel, polluting both the air and the sea.
- Waste Disposal
But that’s not all. Another major problem for the environment is waste disposal. Nearly 85% of the clothing Americans purchase is sent to landfills each year. Low-quality products are significantly cheaper, but no one can use them for a long time. As a result, they get discarded and thrown in the trash. Furthermore, this only leads to waste accumulation and chemical pollution. Countries like India, China, and Bangladesh are known for cheap labor, and they are also major polluters of soil, air, and water.
- Water Pollution
Finally, the fashion industry is among the biggest water consumers as well. It takes 700 gallons to create one cotton shirt and nearly 2,000 for a pair of jeans. Not to mention the irrigation systems required to grow cotton plants. And to make things even worse, most countries dump untreated toxic water directly into lakes and rivers. Wastewater contains mercury, arsenic, lead, and other poisonous substances that can be fatal for aquatic life and many people worldwide.
How Can It Be Ameliorated?
Fast fashion has numerous adverse effects, and they only seem to be growing in number. The only way to improve the current situation is to learn from our mistakes and change how things work.
Naturally, this isn’t something we can do overnight, but we need to start making the first steps if we want to see results in the foreseeable future.
We will significantly lower the carbon footprint by opting for locally sourced products since there will be no need for goods to travel across the world.
Furthermore, most countries that offer cheap labor don’t have proper laws regarding production safety, working conditions, or environmental impact. Countries like India and Bangladesh, where the majority of textile factories are located, struggle with water pollution. By purchasing USA-made products, we will be eliminating these factories from the equation, and decrease our own negative impact on the environment. We will:
- Give a boost to production within our country (that has stricter environmental regulations).
- Focus on materials used. Choosing sustainable materials and recycled materials eliminates the need for non-renewable resources and the need for dyes and chemicals. Materials like linen and recycled fabrics have low water consumption, which will prevent them from ending up in oceans.
- Design evergreen models and accessories that we can use for more than one season. Choosing high-quality, locally-made fashion merchandise that is always in trend will change the way people see fashion. As a result, fewer items will end up in landfills each year, since people will have something well-made, fashionable, and reusable.
Let’s Be Responsible for Our Actions
Change is never easy, but it is high time we made a difference. Join us, enjoy fashion, and help create a better place for ourselves and future generations.
Shopping locally will keep our community healthy; it will help the economy, support a more sustainable clothing industry, and create a positive ecological impact. We can be the change the world needs.
Responsible and fashionable — USA STRONG. Because we are strong together.