The vast majority of garment workers ,approximately 80% are women. In 2014 an estimate of 60 to 75 million people were employed in the textile, clothing and footwear sector worldwide.² In 2000 only 20 million people were employed in the industry. In 2017 14 year old girl dies trying to reach her monthly work bonus. Fast fashion companies sell "FEMINIST" t-shirts for $6,99.
There are tens of millions of people in slavery today of which nearly 1 in 3 is a child. Researchers estimate 40 million are enslaved. 50% of slavery victims are in labor slavery, like manufacturing. The world population is 7,5 billion, this means more than every 200th person is subject to slave labor. If we were to fill the Olympic Stadium in Berlin in proportion to this there would be 527 slaves in the crowd. Worldwide every 6th working person is in the textile and clothing industry - if we also think of the cotton farmers and retail salesmen/women.
It takes an average of 7,000 litres of water to produce one pair of jeans. That's about the amount of water you drink over the course of 5-6 years. 2 billion pairs of jeans are produced each year. 20% of industrial water pollution comes from the treating and dyeing textiles. In China 80% of the groundwater from major river basins is “unsuitable for human contact”. Greenpeace estimates 20% of clothing not to be worn once.
We wear our clothes an average of 4 times.
Reasons why clothing is thrown out:
64% I don't like it any more.
40% Is no longer in fashion/my personal style.
31% Need room for new clothes.
10% Only bought it for a special occasion.
21% Only sort pieces out when broken or no longer fit.
The Best Sustainable Fashion Stores Online
Brands: A wide variety
Vibe: British festival-going youth
Ethics: Not very clear–vintage is included here, but that also seems to mean ‘preloved’. Which is fine…it’s just that it seems you must go on faith that the items are ethical-there isn’t much background provided on why each item is included. Some brands simply seem to be there because they are ‘handmade with love’ or give something back to charity. Barely ‘green’, if you ask us.
Best for: There’s a huge variety of brands here – but whether you’re looking for clothing that’s made with a lower environmental impact or beauty that’s natural and organic, you’ll find it.
Brands: A Peace Treaty, Daniel Silverstein, Pachacuti, Goodone, The North Circular, Joanna Cave and more
Vibe: Chic eco-items curated by industry insiders
Ethics: Very green! Ranging from organic to zero waste, everything in this collection has been screened for its eco-credentials by Valetta herself. Bonus: Yoox also has an awesome designer vintage section!
Best for: Feeling like you’ve been dressed by a professional, ethical stylist
Vibe: Net-a-Porter for the eco-conscious
Brands: Loads! There’s clearly a lot of money backing this site, and that translates into varied stock. There are literally dozens of designers, most of them quite big and mainstream, like People Tree, Edun and Amor Vert, but lots we’d never heard of before, too. There is beauty as well as fashion on offer, but it’s ladies only here.
Ethics: The site is divided up into different kinds of sustainability–vintage, organic, ethical, vegan, etc. We love that they only carry vegan leathers that are eco-friendly, but aren’t really sure that ‘made in America’ qualifies as sustainable.
Best for: Finding something no one else has. The variety on offer here is really staggering!