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Human Rights Violation
45.8 million 1

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1 The 2016 Global Slavery Index estimates that 45.8 million people are living in modern slavery, many of whom are working in the supply chains of brands and retailers.

Human Rights Violation
45.8 million 1

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Carbon Emissions
706 billion 2

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2 Over 706 billion kilograms of greenhouse gas can be attributed to polyester production for use in textiles in 2015 (based on the current marketplace, estimating that 80% of polyester production goes into textile and including both textile yarn and staple fibers, which are the primary types of polyester produced).

Carbon Emissions
706 billion 2

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Water Pollution
200 billion 3

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3 The textile industry continues to search for an economical solution to decolorize the nearly 200 billion liters of colored effluent produced annually.

Water Pollution
200 billion 3

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Overconsumption
150 billion 4

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4 In 2010, the global apparel industry produced more than 150 billion garments, enough to provide more than twenty new articles of clothing to every person on the planet.

Overconsumption
150 billion 4

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Economic Slavery
5300 BDT 5

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5 Currently, garment workers in Bangladesh are paid an average monthly wage of BDT 5300 (USD 68), which is below the national poverty line of BDT 6336 (USD 78) — significantly below the living wage of BDT 7360 (USD 92).

Economic Slavery
5300 BDT 5

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Marine Life Endangerment
64 thousand 6

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6 The US may be releasing over 64,000 pounds of tiny synthetic clothing fibers into the water every day.

Marine Life Endangerment
64 thousand 6

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Child Labor
250 million 7

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7 An estimated 250 million children ages 5 to 14 are forced to work in sweatshops in developing countries.

Child Labor
250 million 7

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Resource Depletion
70 million 8

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8 70 million barrels of oil are used each year to make the world’s polyester.

Resource Depletion
70 million 8

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Non-biodegradable Waste
11 million 9

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9 11 million tons of textile waste from the US alone. Most of this waste is non-biodegradable, sitting in landfills for 200 years or more while releasing harmful gases.

Non-biodegradable Waste
11 million 9

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What can we do?

Are you overwhelmed? Don't be, start small. Every action carries weight, no matter how small. Every step of the way counts towards improving the landscape, even if you can't see it. The ocean is a multitude of drops, every drop in it counts. You are not powerless!

Resources

Fashion Revolution has an easy form to contact your favorite brands, plus educational material for you.

Good On You lists brands according to how well their perform with sustainability issues to help you choose where to shop more consciously.

Remember, all our actions carry weight.
D.W.Sage

Sources

1 Global Slavery Index — 2016 findings Jan 15 2017 Wayback Machine; Introduction to Fashion's Key Social Issues Apr 20 2017 Wayback Machine

2 Green Peace 2016 Fact Sheet Timeout for fast fashion Dec 21 2018 Wayback Machine

3 Scientic Research journal: Kant, R. (2012) Textile dyeing industry an environmental hazard. Natural Science, 4, 22-26. Apr 23 2017 Wayback Machine

4 Sustainable Apparel Materials; Randolph Kirchain, Elsa Olivetti, T Reed Miller and Suzanne Greene; Materials Systems Laboratory Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, MA; October 7, 2015 Feb 21 2017 Wayback Machine; 13 Eye Popping Facts that Reveal the Fashion Industry's Massive Environmental Footprint, by Elizabeth Cline Nov 12 2017 Wayback Machine

5 Sustainalytics — Fair Living Wages in the Garment Sector: The Case of Bangladesh Apr 29 2017 Wayback Machine; Trading Economics — Bangladesh Living Wage Individual Mar 10 2017 Wayback Machine

6 Business Insider — The US may be releasing over 64,000 pounds of tiny synthetic clothing fibers into the water every day Jan 30 2017 Wayback Machine

7 Brandon Gaille — 36 Shocking Sweatshop Statistics Feb 12 2017 Wayback Machine

8 DW — Giving up my filthy fashion habit Feb 1 2017 Wayback Machine

9 Psychology Today — The True Cost of Fast Fashion