There’s a dirty secret in the fashion industry. It’s wreaking havoc on our environment.
According to a report from Business Insider, clothing production has roughly doubled since 2000, and by 2014, people were buying 60 percent more garments than they were in 2000. However, people are abandoning their clothes just as quickly. Approximately 85 percent of all textiles go to the dump, the equivalent of one garbage truck full of clothes being burned or cast into a landfill every second.
What’s more, the fashion industry is responsible for 10 percent of humanity’s carbon emissions. The fashion industry also consumes a near-catastrophic portion of our planet’s water supply, resulting in dried-up water sources and polluted rivers and streams. Around 700 gallons of water are required to grow and dye the cotton needed for one shirt, while a pair of jeans requires 2,000 gallons. The damage doesn’t end there, with textile dyeing being the world’s second-leading cause of water pollution.
Earth Day occurs annually on April 22, and it’s the perfect time to consider how you can help our planet through your shopping behaviors. When you donate and shop second-hand at Goodwill of Central and Coastal Virginia (Goodwill), you’re practicing a sustainable lifestyle that helps the environment while taking a stand against the excesses of the fashion industry. With thousands of items added to sales floors every day, Goodwill diverted 40 million pounds of materials from landfills in 2020 through retail sales, salvage and recycling programs, providing a sustainable alternative to fast fashion. When you shop at Goodwill, you give items a second life while supporting Goodwill’s mission to help individuals overcome challenges to employment through job training, skill development and job placement opportunities.
In addition to clothing, you can shop at Goodwill for other items such as furniture, electronics, home décor and more. This helps keep items out of landfills through recycling and reuse. With revenue from Goodwill stores going towards creating local employment and job training opportunities, sustainable fashion at Goodwill is also supporting sustainable communities.
This Earth Day, consider what you can do to support a sustainable future for our planet through a sustainable lifestyle. When you support Goodwill’s mission through sustainable, ethical shopping, you are investing in a healthier future for our planet.