When you look into your wardrobe each day it’s hard to imagine the complexity of the people, place and the planet that goes into making your jeans or t-shirt. But there is one resource that is taking the hardest blow: water. The fashion industry is the second biggest polluter of water after oil and is frighteningly high in its consumption rate too. Just one pair of jeans takes 7,000 litres of water to make which is enough to sustain a human being for 6 years.
Simply the fashion industries impact on water is twofold: in its consumption of clean water taken from surrounding areas (often a water-scarce nation), and the pollution by the toxic dyes used to colour our clothes. Cotton is an extremely thirsty plant and requires around 20,000 litres of water per kg and an array of toxic fertilisers that leach in the water ecosystem. So unfortunately, our consumption patterns do affect those on the other side of the world.
Without water there may be no fashion. But with fashion there may be no water.
These were some of the harsh realities that I learnt once I had discovered my desire to save the world’s water. Saving the Grace is a platform to connect our individual lifestyles, including our clothes and food choices, to the world’s water situation so that we can enact change and protect the one resource from which everything depends: water. If we want to save the world, we must save water.
It seems like a big task, but never before has the power of the individual to form a movement been so strong. Saving the Grace is an accountability mechanism for myself, but also a platform to empowers other to make similar easy changes that will help save the grace of the world. These are some of the steps that I have taken to change my fashion habits:
- I’ve said no to fast fashion – since July I have been avoiding the fast fashion high street like the plague.
- I’ve organised a preloved clothing sale with friends for next month – a great event where friends and fashion will come together to sell their worn and adored clothes to each other in the aid of charity.
- Discovering sustainable brands such as Fabric For Fashion has put the fun back in shopping as its unique in style and story.
- Striking gold when I find something in the charity shops on the high street.
- Fallen in love with my clothes again, giving them the appreciation, they deserve for people and planet have come together to put the clothes on my back, and I now wear them proudly.
- Buy organic cotton products as my conscience knows that the growing process has not harmed the water quality of their origin.
- Bought quality instead of quantity – saving up for those pieces that I will love and wear time and time again instead of adding to my already too full wardrobe.
There’s never been a better time to make changes when the sustainability movement is buzzing with fresh ideas and fresh faces.