You are debating to buy the AmaElla knickers because they are pretty and organic. Yet, you feel uneasy because £29 for knickers appears to be expensive compared to your traditional fast fashion chain store. We are here to help you understand why we, AmaElla, cost a pretty penny and ensure you that there are good reasons behind it.
Numbers Don’t Lie
The growth of the fashion industry comes with increased environmental and social costs. There is a need for this to become a public matter. This blog hopes to help the public gain a basic understanding of the concerns that we are facing in today’s fast-fashion society.
Chemicals, Waste and other nasty things
A recent published work by the Copenhagen Fashion Summit, titled Pulse of the Fashion Industry, found that the planet is already beyond its safe operating space in terms of climate change, waste pollution, changes in land use, and biochemical output. This means that we face increasingly higher risks of destabilising the planet.
The clothing industry is not solely responsible for this but it heavily contributes. In what way? Allow us to give you some of the most important facts:
- Your clothes play a role in climate change. CO2 is the highest contributor in Global Greenhouse Emissions. It was found that the “purchase and use of clothing leads to the release of over 850Mt CO2 per year (around 3% of global production CO2 emissions), including both embodied emissions in the clothing, and emissions arising from clothing use (washing, drying, ironing)”.
- Through cotton production, the fashion industry uses 4% of nitrogen fertilisers and phosphorous globally!
- The production of the clothing is not the only thing adding to the problem. Currently, due to the encouragement of the growing fast-fashion industry and globalised social media marketing, there is a large amount of waste created that is made up of non-biodegradable clothing waste. The vast majority of the waste end up in landfills. Globally, only 20% of clothing is collected for reuse and/or recycling.
- Humankind produces 2.1 billion tons of waste per year. In terms of annual ecological footprint, the world’s population already produces more than 1.6 times what the Earth can absorb in the same time-frame. According to recent numbers, if things go on as they are right now, the total level of fashion waste in 2030 will increase to 148 million tons.
- The production of organic cotton fibers uses 62% less energy, 50% less CO2 and 91% less water than conventional cotton.
Social Injustice & Struggles
The environment is not the only one experiencing the painful weight of the clothing industry; social injustice remains to be ignored. Allow us to provide you with some facts here:
- In 2015, it was estimated that 10% of the world’s workers and their families were living below the international poverty line of €1.8 per day. That’s £1.58 per day! Of course, it is important to mention that the fashion industry is not fully responsible for this but, as a major employer and driver of economic prosperity in numerous developing countries, it has the potential to bring change and improve social conditions.
- Non-compliance to pay minimum wage can be as high as 87%.
- In many Asian nations, where a large portion of clothing production takes place, the minimum wages are less than half of what can be considered a living wage. Over 50% of workers are not paid the minimum wage in countries like India or Philippines.
- The health and safety of employees is often jeopardised. Garment workers are put out to dangers at work, varying from factory fires to exposure to hazardous chemicals to working overtime. According to a recent finding from the Copenhagen Fashion Summit, the clothing industry has an average of 5.6 injuries per 100 workers per year.
Time to Slow Down
The fashion industry employs approximately 60 million people. Because of that the fashion industry has an opportunity to create large-scale social change for millions.
In order to create a more sustainable and eco-friendly fashion industry, we need to work together and find alternatives to these problems. There are four key things that can help us reduce the issues:
- Improving clothing longevity. There should be an aim to increase the longevity of clothing. There is a key importance to focus on the environmental and quality benefits of buying clothes that last longer.
- Carbon footprint transparency of products. Measurements, accreditations and communication about the carbon footprint embedded in garment will guide consumers towards a more responsible consumer behaviour. If people are not provided clear and easy to understand information, it will be harder to encourage a conscious consumer attitude and behaviour.
- Reduce the need for chemicals. By producing materials without the addition of chemicals, we can reduce the damage done to our environment and living stock.
- Provide eco-friendly solutions that meet the criteria for all of the above.
These are the reasons why we are here. To improve longevity, ensure transparency, be chemical-free, and be part of the Solution. With us, AmaElla, you will pay more than you would for an average pair of knickers but you gain a lot more. We promise to 1. work with organisations that ensure the wellbeing & safety of employees and 2. preserve our nature by minimising our carbon footprint and using premium natural materials. Two key promises that fast-fashion companies can’t easily make. Why? Because when you buy a surprisingly cheap item, there may be some form of compromise made that you won’t know about…
The painful reality of it all, is that damage has been done. People have been injured, emissions have been released, nature has been devastated. However, this demonstrates that there is an undeniable importance to change. We can no longer shove it in the corner and let it be. The damage has been done, now make Change Happen.