It’s like this, the world’s textile industry isn’t nice. Not nice to people who work in it and not nice to the environment. We have to find ways to make it nicer. Through thinking and dressing smarter.
Every year you throw away about 8 kg of textiles. Clothes and other items that negatively affect the environment both when they are produced and thrown away. It can’t be like that. Through the Four Fit Challenge we want to make people aware about consumption and fashion. Quite simply we want you to dress both cool and smart.
Sorry about saying the brutal truth about cotton
Cotton makes up about half of our clothes. You might not know it, but pests and weeds make cotton very difficult to cultivate. The fact is that the world’s cotton plantations account for 25 percent of world consumption of insecticide, and 11 percent of herbicide. And you should know that cotton represents only 2.5 percent of ALL cultivation in the world.
Many people work on cotton plantations. But people who work here often have no protection against chemicals. The UN estimates that millions of people are injured as a result of chemical pesticides. Several hundred thousand of them die of their injuries. Every year!
29,000 litre of water for 1 kg of cotton
Cotton plants like sun and are often grown in very dry areas. So we are forced into extensive irrigation. As much as 29,000 litres of water is needed to produce one kg of cotton. Huge areas have been drained completely and ecosystems wrecked as a result.
Count on chemicals
Factories use around 1 kg of chemicals to produce 1 kg of textile. Most of it is washed out, but some remains in the finished garment. It might be a good idea to wash newly purchased clothes before you put them on.
Creating clothes from cotton uses lots of chemicals, spinning lubricants, adhesives, paint pigments (which may contain heavy metals), salt and acids. The machines are very energy intensive and often driven by fossil fuels. All cotton fabric is bleached, and many places use chlorine bleaching. Chlorinating agents are not at all good for us humans and extra bad for all aquatic organisms.
We appeal for your compassion
People who work in textile factories work in circumstances which would never be approved in the EU. They are exposed to large amounts of dust particles and heavy chemicals. As if that were not enough, they’re really badly paid.
In many places the dirty, chemical-laden water from the factory isn’t purified. It flows straight into natural streams and poisons the environment. As you know, all water runs together, which means it also affects drinking water for the people in the area.
Every year we buy an average of 24 kg textiles per person. Fashion trends follow each other at a furious pace. But it can’t continue.
The beauty of it is that you can make a difference
Our greed for the latest fashion means we quickly get rid of clothes we tire of. We throw away 8 kg clothes and other textiles per person every year. If you think a bit about how clothes are actually manufactured, it suddenly feels wrong.
Four Fit Challenge is about becoming more aware of our shopping behaviour around fashion and what it does to our environment and our fellow human beings.
But what’s so great is that you can change this by shopping smarter. You can make a big difference by choosing eco-labelled clothes, think through your wardrobe and your fashion purchases, shop fewer clothes, choose higher quality, and swap and re-use garments more. Your new way of shopping will save the planet. So good for you! Good for humanity! Good for the environment!
Sorry about saying the brutal truth. But the world’s textile industry isn’t nice.