The ‘fast’ fashion industry is responsible for abominable levels of water consumption, pollution, and waste. Enterprising entrepreneurs in South Africa are looking to natural materials and upcycling to make every-day clothing more sustainable.
What are you wearing? Examine your outfit as you read this. Maybe a T-shirt or a trendy new dress. Denims, perhaps? Or more likely a stretchy pair of sweatpants and socks now that we’re all mostly working from home.
‘Fast’ fashion makes clothes-shopping more affordable but at an increasingly environmental cost. According to a 2018 United Nations report, “the global fashion industry produces 20 percent of global wastewater and 10 percent of global carbon emissions – more than all international flights and maritime shipping”. Then there’s textile dyeing, pegged as the second-largest polluter of water globally. Did you know it takes around 7,570 liters of water to create a pair of jeans?