Quotes, Facts & Figures

:: “Fast fashion”, the clothing equivalent of fast food, leaves a pollution footprint, with each step of the clothing life cycle generating potential environmental and occupational hazards. 1

:: Fast Fashion encourages consumers to purchase un-needed clothes on an increasingly rapid cycle. Local and International media, fuel the demand, helping to create the desire for new “must haves” for each season, targeting young women across the globe. Most high street fashion labels have something new every month, instead of just two collections (Autumn/Winter and Spring/Summer) each year. 2

:: Some Chinese workers make as little as 12–18 cents per hour working in poor conditions. 3

:: Americans throw away more than 68 pounds (31kg) of clothing and textiles per person per year. 4

:: Only 15% of discarded clothing and textiles in the USA are reused or recycled. This represents 10 pounds (9kg) for every person. 5

:: The average person in Japan buys 10kg and discards 9kg of clothing and textiles per year. 2

:: The UK consumes about 2 million tonnes of clothing and textiles per year. 1.5-2 million tonnes is disposed of. Of that, 63% ends up in landfill, 16% is recovered and 21% is unaccounted for. 6

:: Women played a pivotal role in how a “throwaway” culture replaced one grounded in reuse. 7

:: The biggest impact for increasing sustainability in the clothing industry rests with the consumer. 6

1. “Waste Couture: Environmental Impact of the Clothing Industry” – Luz Claudio
2. http://www.eco-asia.info
3. U.S. National Labor Committee http://www.nlcnet.org
4. US Environmental Protection Agency Office of Solid Waste http://www.epa.gov
5. America’s Research Group survey 2006 http://www.americasresearchgroup.com
6. DEFRA http://www.defra.gov.uk
7. Waste and Want: A Social History of Trash” – Prof. Susan Strasser

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