According to the UN, textile production is to blame for 20% of waste water worldwide and 10% of global carbon emissions. Also, in the last 15 years, the production of clothing around the world has doubled, while its use has decreased by half.
In Spain, an average of 450 euros per year is spent on clothing per person, generating between 12 and 14 kilos of textile waste. However, only 20% of textiles there are recycled.
We're facing new challenges: much of the clothing is manufactured using a mixture of natural and synthetic fibres, which must be separated if they are to be reused. When washed, polyester also gives off small fibres that end up in the sea, polluting the oceans and the creatures that live in them. To this must be added the polluting potential of the polyester manufacturing process, which emits three times as much carbon as other materials, such as cotton.
The dyes used to colour fabrics are also polluting, but there are some sustainable alternatives.
Taking into account all these variables, the world of fashion is beginning to be aware of the situation and to take measures with regards sustainability and social impact. The role of the younger generations must not be overlooked: they are growing up and starting out on their lives, they have an environmental challenge ahead of them that will mark a watershed in the history of our planet. Fortunately, we may have a little more awareness about the waste we produce, even when in the way we dress.