What is The Effect of The Growing Textile Industry on The World?
In the United States, the garment industry is worth $77 billion. It is worth $842 billion globally. This industry touches everyone’s lives and is built on a foundation of numerous industries, including agriculture, construction, and product development. It also hires millions of people all over the world. However, as the public becomes more aware of the industry’s horrible acts, certain reforms are being made and practices are being shifted to provide a less dangerous climate.
When we look at the label on our clothes, we find that it was (for the most part) not made in the United States, but rather in a developing country like India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and others. Textile production is outsourced to countries where labour is much cheaper and working requirements are less restrictive. The Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh, in which a building collapsed and killed 1,134 garment workers, eventually drew the world’s attention to the employees’ appalling working conditions. Employees “currently live with no air, breathe in poisonous chemicals, inhaling fibre dust or blasted sand in unhealthy structures,” according to Sustainyourstyle.org. On textile production plants, accidents, explosions, casualties, and disease are all too common.” On top of it, employees are assigned unreasonable daily targets to fulfil, and if they don’t, bosses will retaliate with verbal and physical violence. When this became known, many shoppers abandoned quick fashion in favour of products that are made ethically and locally. Those alternatives, on the other hand, are normally much more costly and not readily available to all.
Another thing that most people are unaware of is how exhausting and intensive the fashion industry is on the environment. It is the second-largest cause of emissions after the oil industry. Another factor businesses outsource to developed countries is that environmental regulations in these countries are less restrictive. Textile factories’ poisonous wastewater is pumped into water bodies without being treated, killing the populations that build up around them. Choosing textiles that are made naturally is one way that consumers can benefit.
Another big source of anxiety for us is the rise of casual fashion. Fast fashion retailers like Zara, H&M, Fashion Nova, Pretty Little Thing, and others are manufacturing clothes at an extraordinary speed. These garments are frequently of poor quality and inexpensive. As a result, shoppers are actively purchasing and discarding clothes. “On average, a Western household discards 30 kilogrammes of clothing per year. Around 15% of waste is recycled or donated, according to The Atlantic, with the remainder going to the landfill or being incinerated. Synthetic fabrics, such as polyester, are made of plastic and are also non-biodegradable, taking up to 200 years to decompose. Seventy-two per cent of our fabric is made of synthetic fibres” (sustainyourstyle.org). To overcome this, we can invest in products that can last us a long time, purchase second-hand clothes, and study the fabric quality of clothing pieces so that we can choose natural and organic options.
The three explanations I mentioned are just the beginning. Soil pollution, chemical pollution, carbon pollution, rainforest depletion, microfibers in our waters, child labour, unregulated water use, and many more are all caused by the apparel and garment industries. Sustainable wear, on the other hand, is rendered rather costly and uncomfortable. Consumers seem to take the burden of the burden: pay more money or accept child labour. However, putting moral and financial pressure on customers is a popular tactic used by corporate businesses to mislead the public and avoid accountability. The primary responsibility should fall on these large companies to use an ethical manufacturing mechanism, as well as the government to ban immoral activities and discipline those who violate them.
We will also help slow fashion brands, wear second-hand clothes, and purchase natural and organic fabrics. We do have a long way to go, but these are excellent first moves.