BY- JAYA CHOUDHARY
We people are continually barraged with media that squeezes us to purchase fresher and trendier garments, just to discard them when they are no longer in fashion. An expected 93 million tons of garments go to landfill or are burned each year which is generally about a trash load of materials, going to landfill every second. Producing clothes also pollutes our water and churns out co2.
The quick style model developed by brands like Zara and H&M implies that these brands are producing double the amount of clothing each year as they did in the mid-2000s. In any case, the organization says that the practice is going to change since we would now be able to purchase eco-friendly quick designs and furthermore reuse our garments when we don’t need them any longer.
However, can we really believe in their promises?
Inditex, Zara’s parent organization, and H&M Group are two of the greatest design retailers on the planet, and both have collections that guarantee to diminish the ecological effect of making garments. The two clothing giants say that they are making their whole brands more sustainable. Let’s take a deeper look into these big claims.
The primary materials of fashion brands like Zara and H&M are polyester, which represents about 52% of complete fiber creation, and cotton, which is around 24%. Poly Ethylene Terephthalate or PET is an alternate name for polyester and is the same sort of plastic that is found in water bottles. As a matter of fact, 60% of PET creation goes to materials, while simply 30% to water bottles. The said material is created from oil, and the cycle utilizes loads of energy and deliveries Co2 alongside acids and smelling salts into the water bodies.
Cotton on the other hand is more practical than polyester, however, it’s still a chemical and water-intensive crop. According to the World Wide Fund for Nature, it takes 20,000 liters of water to make one kilogram of cotton. Additionally, around 11% of the world’s pesticides are utilized in cotton fields. Brands have professed to utilize natural cotton which is always a superior choice. They say that the cotton utilizes normal pesticides and manures, and this is affirmed by the Organic Content Standard which says they control for chemical and water use in the whole production process.
Talking about synthetics, in H&M’s sustainable collection, synthetic clothing has to be at least 50% recycled. Zara on the other hand doesn’t specify their percentage, and their labeling can be pretty confusing at times. However, the brand has committed to sustainable cotton and polyester by 2025.
Terms like ‘eco-friendly’ and ‘environmentally grown’ are difficult to fact check, and confusing for clients. Brands say their conscious collections are better for the climate and somewhat they really are. Purchasing season less instead of trendy clothing means it won’t go out of fashion and end up in the trash because this is a rare industry where consumers actually have a real influence.