The Second Largest Polluter After The Oil Industry — Fashion.

A few years back I stumbled upon this TEDed video, which completely changed my shopping behavior. I learned that the global fashion industry is the second largest polluter after the oil industry! If you care about the environment, being a little more mindful about your shopping habits can have a big impact. Instead of buying new, now I almost exclusively shop second hand clothing. As someone whose first job out of college was corporate sales for a fashion brand, this was big for me.

The video provides a quick and simple details on the various resources and problems related to creating each new piece of clothing. Here are a few things the video and other sources discuss:

  • The amount of water, land and energy to grow cotton

  • Shipping raw cotton across the globe to be manufactured into finished clothing, and then have it shipped all the way back for sale in the US

  • Chemical dyes are often disposed of in harmful ways

  • Used clothing usually ends up in landfills, taking up considerable space and years to break down. Plus, as clothes decompose, they release methane gas

Shopping second hand is a great way to spice up your style. Not to mention you’ll save a ton of money and help keep the planet green!