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Why do clothes pollute?

Shenty Help
One of the most frequent questions we receive from our customers is this: "Why do clothes pollute? How can a garment be harmful to the environment?

Obviously all these are rather generic questions, but it would be wrong and reductive to give a simple dry answer.

Unfortunately, the factors that make a garment "polluting" are many. If it were a single triggering cause, it would be enough to solve the problem at the root and the game would be done. But alas this is not the case, and we must try to answer these questions very carefully, in order to provide correct and verified information, guiding people towards a more sustainable choice.

We will therefore try to analyze these multiple factors, listing them in a sort of incidence ranking , grouping them into what we believe are the 3 main causes.

Why do clothes pollute?

1- Consumerism and Fast fashion

Here we are in front of the great monster, the one of the final level, almost impossible to defeat. Unfortunately, in the last 20 years we have witnessed the rise and subsequently the undisputed domination of Fast Fashion, and more generally of a culture and mentality directed towards extreme consumerism . In fact, one of the most complex things to change is a person 's buying habits . In today's world, indulging in wild shopping sessions in Fast fashion stores is an operation on the agenda for many people. We want to follow the trends, wear that dress that our dear influencers sponsor on social networks and above all we want to be able to change often . Because of this kind of mentality, a "Fast fashion" garment is worn on average only 10 times before being thrown or left in the closet. We are therefore talking about real "disposable" clothes which, left to rot in landfills or worse yet burned, pollute our air and our soil. All this is closely linked to the overproduction of clothing, established by the Fast Fashion brands. Every week they launch new collections and new products, at an unsustainable pace for the environment.

2- Fabrics and fibers

It seems obvious to say it, yet many people ignore or are unaware of the fact that making fabrics and fibers to produce clothing involves considerable environmental exploitation . Just think that cotton , the most widely used natural textile fiber in the world, requires extreme quantities of water and land to be cultivated, especially if we are talking about intensive cultivation caused by the aforementioned overproduction of Fast Fashion brands. To be able to keep up with the pace, in order to churn out a new collection a week, the cultivation of cotton is accelerated by using chemicals as well as toxic substances such as pesticides, insecticides and fertilizers. I leave you only to imagine the devastating effects that these substances cause on the soil and adjacent waterways. But it does not end there, because the worst of the worst happens during the production of synthetic and therefore artificial fibers. The latter all derive from oil , and it is not only their realization that causes irreparable damage to the environment but also their simple existence over time. As with plastic, these synthetic clothes are "forever" , in the sense that they cannot be disposed of in any way in a natural way, except through fire (which causes air pollution). They are also among the main causes of microplastics present in the oceans, since after each washing they release small plastic particles that from the drains of our washing machines end up directly in the waters of our seas (and subsequently in the stomach of the fish that live there).

3- Poor Quality

Quality is also closely linked to the "final monster" of Fast Fashion. In order to sell cheap clothes, these brands must logically be able to buy them at very low prices from their suppliers / manufacturers, which is why they make clothes of very poor quality. The latter is measurable in clothing based on the ability to resist over time of that specific garment.
Quality = resistance over time, indeed going into more detail Quality = number of uses . A poor quality garment will always tend to wear out in a short time, failing to guarantee a sufficient number of uses, thus leading the owner to throw it away and have to buy a new one.

How can we tackle these 3 macro-issues related to the clothing sector? What can all of us as buyers do in order to have less impact on pollution?

First of all, we should change our mentality , trying to avoid compulsively buying clothes that are not useful to us. So shop only if strictly necessary . After that we should stop supporting Fast Fashion brands, opting for a conscious choice in order to reverse this damn trend. We should choose sustainable brands that make both articles in organic textile fibers , grown in a natural and responsible way, and in recycled fabrics , giving new life to materials that would otherwise pollute the environment. And finally, we should pay great attention to the quality of the products we buy, so that they can guarantee us excellent resistance and durability over the years.

To move forward we should paradoxically look back , and go back to dressing as we once did, as did our grandparents and past generations, who jealously guarded those high quality clothing that they had bought a decade earlier , but which they proudly wore. still in their present .