What's it all about?
The demand for textiles has been steadily increasing for years. The big fashion companies offer up to 24 different collections per year. As a result, we buy more and more and wear our clothes only half as often as we did 15 years ago. (McKinsey & Company 2016). However, the ever-increasing demand and production of textiles have serious consequences. Greenhouse gases are emitted at every step of the textile supply chain. From the cultivation of raw materials to dyeing, sewing, and transport. The textile industry is responsible for almost 8% of the global greenhouse gas emissions (Ellen MacArthur Foundation 2017).
What is the problem?
The emission of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2) increases the man-made climate change. The climate change caused by the warming of the earth will lead to increased extreme weather events, droughts, floods and famine. There are only about 25 years left to reduce CO2 emissions to zero and thus limit global warming to below 1.5°C (Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change 2020).
What can I do?
Reduce your textile carbon footprint. Buy less, but better. Use your clothes for as long as possible, repair them and pass them on when you no longer like them. Educate others about the rising temperature of our planet and the consequences of climate change. The graphic by Ed Hawkins, a climate scientist at the University of Reading, is an excellent reminder that the time to act is now.