The Textile Industry is One of the Largest Contributors to Global Warming
I often present my work with research I have found about the negative environmental and humanitarian effects of the materials I use to illuminate viewers on how what the buy, use, and throw away affects the planet. This jewelry was created using paper made from cotton clothing that thrift stores had declared “unsellable” and were about to be taken to the land fill.
Below is a list of facts I found about the fashion industry while creating these three pieces.
My hope is by reading this, and sharing my findings and jewelry with others, this astonishing information will reach a wider audience.
20 million dollars was funneled into the New York City economy during fashion week in 2011
Fueling the demand for new “must-haves” for each season
5% of every landfill is textiles. Nearly 100% of what is thrown away can be recycled
Only about one-fifth of the clothing donated to charities is directly used or sold in thrift shops
Americansdonate or throw away more than 68 pounds of clothing and textiles per person per year.
In the US 80% of donated clothing goes to textile recycling plants that sell the clothes to third world countries or recycle them into other products,
much of it is sent straight to the landfill in those third world countries
The Salvation Army in Brooklyn builds a completed wall made of 18 tons of unwanted clothing every three days.
And this is just a small portion of the cast-offs of one single Salvation Army in one city
In 2010, China’s textile industry processed 41.3 million tons of fiber and accounted for about 55 percent of the world’s total production.
A single mill in China can use 200 tons of water for each ton of fabric it dyes
Many rivers in China run with the colors of the season, as the untreated toxic dyes wash off from mills
Dyed natural fibers can take hundreds of years to decompose, and once in the landfill can release methane and CO2 gas
With the rise in production in the fashion industry, demand for man-made fibers, especially polyester, has nearly doubled in the last 15 years
Polyester, the most widely used manufactured fiber, is made from petroleum
In order to manufacture nylon, nitrous oxide is released as part of the process. Nitrous oxide is a greenhouse gas that is 310 times stronger than carbon dioxide
The manufacture of synthetic fabrics requires large amounts of crude oil, releasing toxic compounds, which can cause or aggravate respiratory disease
22 % of all insecticides used worldwide are sprayed on cotton crops
It takes one-third of a pound of pesticides to make one t-shirt
It is estimated that three million people are poisoned by pesticides every year
These pesticides also affect local eco-systems, killing plants and animals and causing an imbalance
Because of the demand for cheap clothing, in 2002 US cotton was being dumped on the world market at 61 per cent below the cost of production
Organic farming takes 1.5 tons of CO2 per acre per year out of the atmosphere
In the light of all this, any support we can give to small farmers growing organic cotton is vital
Your choice in clothing manufacturer and how much clothing you buy effects the lives of millions of people all over the world
Please buy organic cotton or sustainable clothing
There are so many ways to reuse, refurbish, and re-purpose your clothes
every small act counts