MISSION: POLLUTION

WHY DO WE TREAT OUR EARTH LIKE RUBBISH.

THE PROBLEM.

WHY FASHION IS BAD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT.

The fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries in the world. The production and distribution of the crops, fibres, and clothing used in fashion all contribute to differing forms of Environmental pollution, including water, air and soil pollution. The textile industry is the second greatest polluter of local freshwater in the world. Some of the main factors that contribute to this industrial caused pollution are the vast overproduction of fashion items, the use of synthetic fibres, and the agricultural pollution of fashion crops.

 

FAST FASHION.

The amount of new clothes we are all buying has tripled over that last decade. This exponential increase causes the need for more resources, and the need for a speedier process from which clothes are produced. One of the main contributors to the rapid production of pollution is the rapid production of clothes due to the rapid consumption of customers. Every year the world as a whole consumes more than 80 billion items of clothing. Those clothes contribute to resource pollution and waste pollution, due to the fact that most of these items will one day be thrown away. People are consuming more clothing and they want it for cheaper prices. The companies producing these cheap items who are making a profit want the clothes as fast as possible, this creates a trend called fast fashion. The idea is that speedy mass production combined with cheap labour will make clothes cheaper for those buying them, thus allowing these fast fashion trends to maintain economic success. The main concern with fast fashion is the clothing waste it produces. According to the Environmental Protection Agency 15.1 million tons of textile clothing waste was produced in 2013 alone. When textile clothing ends up in landfills the chemicals on the clothes, such as the dye, can cause environmental damage by leaching the chemicals into the ground. When unsold clothes are burned, it releases CO2 into the atmosphere. As per a World Resources Institute report, 1.2 billion tons of CO2 is released in the atmosphere per year by fast fashion industry. In 2019, it was announced that France was making an effort to prevent companies from this practice of burning unsold fashion items which is brilliant..

 

WHAT ARE WE DOING ABOUT IT.

In everything we do we think about the impact on the environment. Everything from raw fabric, lean production processes, water treatments and chemical usage. Below we have covered what we are doing and also what we plan to do in the future.

RECYCLING WATER.

If a factory is approved by an auditing company it will need to have a functioning water treatment process facility. This is normally an area on site which takes the water somewhere else and holds it until its full. Very rarely (I’m told they do but I’m yet to see it) do the auditors go to the off site water centre to check the water cleaning process.

Normally a lot of chemicals are used, so these need to be cleaned from the water, which then goes through a rigorous cleaning process. The methods used include physical processes such as filtration, sedimentation, and distillation; biological processes such as slow sand filters or biologically active carbon; chemical processes such as flocculation and chlorination; and the use of electromagnetic radiation such as ultraviolet light. Every water plantation is different and depends mainly on the type of water they are cleaning and for what purpose, such as drinking or industrial use. One of the main issues with cleaning water is what happens to the dirt that is taken out. On average 60% of the dirt will naturally biodegradable but the 40% left over will say forever. We don’t use any chemicals in our production and we re-use our water over 4 times before it’s taken to the treatment centre.

OUR CARBON FOOTPRINT.

Carbon footprint is the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere as a result of the activities of a particular individual, organisation or community. All of us have a carbon footprint, a measure of our energy and resource consumption. The more water we use, the more food we eat, the more energy we consume, the higher our footprint. Whatever we do adds to this footprint, getting in a car, flying in a plane, it all uses fuel and resources. No matter what we do we will have a carbon footprint, however it’s limited that as much as possible and at worse, offsetting it. Many companies offset their carbon, which is either paying money to a third party to do the work or even better, do the work themselves, this could be through projects for example, planting tree’s which turn carbon dioxide into oxygen.


In many cases brands and retailers can be pretty thoughtless when it comes to carbon footprint management. For example, they could produce their clothing in North China, their mill is based in south China, the mill buys the spun yarn from Italy, weaves it in their larger mill in Cambodia, and the original cotton farm ironically was in China. Already before the fabric has even been cut it has a higher carbon footprint than my grandmother.


If we at TOBEFRANK use organic cotton, it’s from a farm in Istanbul, it’s processes down the road, then its spun and finished all in the same postcode. Keeping our carbon footprint low. Of course we are still producing carbon dioxide, through our machine running, water recycling and colour dying, however, we are tracking this so we know where and how we can improve this.