The ugly truth: how fast fashion pollutes our drinking water
The fast fashion industry has become one of the biggest polluters of the environment including drinking water.
The fashion industry is producing clothes at an unprecedented rate, with most of them made from synthetic fabrics that release toxic chemicals when washed. These chemicals end up in our rivers and oceans and eventually find their way into our drinking water. Here are some facts that prove the harmful impact of fast fashion on our drinking water:
Second largest polluter
According to the World Bank, the fashion industry is responsible for 20% of global wastewater, making it the second largest water polluter (after agriculture).
This is due to the use of toxic chemicals and dyes in the production of textiles, as well as the large amount of water used in the production process. In countries like China and India, where most clothes are made, untreated wastewater from textile factories is discharged directly into rivers and waterways.
Clothing manufacturing vs. drinking tap water
Beware! The problem is not just about the production of clothes. Fast fashion also contributes to water pollution during the disposal process. This means that as people buy more clothes and wear them less often, they are more likely to throw them away.
The synthetic fabrics used in fast fashion take hundreds of years to break down, releasing microplastics and other harmful chemicals into the environment. These pollutants can enter the soil and groundwater, ultimately affecting our drinking water.
In addition, many of the toxic chemicals used in the manufacture of textiles are known carcinogens and endocrine disruptors. They can cause a variety of health problems such as cancer, infertility and birth defects.
These chemicals can build up in our bodies over time and have long-term effects. The World Health Organisation estimates that about 1.7 million deaths a year are caused by exposure to polluted drinking water.
There's good news too!
The good news is that some fashion brands are taking steps to reduce their environmental impact. Companies like Patagonia and Eileen Fisher are using sustainable materials and eco-friendly production methods.
Consumers can change their ways
As consumers, we can at least try to change our contribution to environmental pollution by choosing to buy from sustainable brands, reduce our overall consumption and dispose of unwanted clothes in the right way.
The fast fashion industry has a significant impact on our drinking water. The large amounts of toxic chemicals, wastewater and microplastics it produces pollute our rivers and oceans, ultimately affecting our health. It is crucial for the industry to take responsibility for its impact and for consumers to make smarter choices to protect our environment and ourselves.