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Clothing pollution

Looming dangers of clothing pollution

The textile and clothing industry which emits tons of carbon dioxide annually, is taking a toll on the environment. The industry is responsible for extensive water use and pollution and produces 2.1 billion tons of waste annually. Global consumption of clothes has doubled between 2000 and 2014. On a global average, every person buys five kg of clothes a year but in Europe and the US the figure is as high as 16 kilograms. Overall apparel consumption is projected to rise even further, from 62 million tons in 2015 to 102 million tons in 2030. This projected increase in global fashion consumption will create further environmental stress and risks.

Areas where companies can make improvements are a strategy to operate within the planet's ecological boundaries; climate change; water management and stewardship; raw materials; joint environmental management in the supply chain; chemicals management; investment, stakeholder engagement and responsibility for public policy; and new business models to decouple consumption from resource use.

Consumers can contribute to reducing the industry's environmental impact by buying less; simplifying their style and wardrobe; by using timeless, high-quality clothes and enriching those with accessories and second-hand items; maintaining their clothes; bringing them to a recycling facility; buying organic, green and high quality items; and creating awareness.

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