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!