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Humans wear clothing, mainly to protect ourselves from harsh environments but it is also a social
need to cover yourself. Over time clothing has changed decade after decade, influenced by culture and
iconic styles. With fashion came the demand and capital gain. It became popular to make large amounts
of clothing for the cheapest prizes, exploiting not only earth’s natural resources, but contaminating them
as well. Unethical fashion is global it adds to our already staggering pollution numbers, it endangers our
fresh water, as well as our biodiversity.
The fashion industry seems to have an unquenchable thirst, needed water in almost every step in
textile manufacturing. From the growing of raw-materials to the finishing touches of adding color through
chemicals that are all applied in water baths (Khouri). With cotton, more than 20,000 liters is need for one
t-shirt (Cotton Farming). Cotton, nicknamed the dirtiest crop because of the ridiculous amounts of
pesticides it “needs”, causes chemicals runoff from cotton fields. That ends up in our limited freshwater
supply and ultimately the ocean. The constant attack and missuesd of water is personally degrading, water
is a precious resource, the way we make our clothing is putting that lifehinging resource at risk.
Fashion kills, quite literally it takes lives by the billions. Sheep and cattle are bred to be
slaughtered and smaller animals like mink, foxes and rabbits are caged their entire lives, deprived of the
space need to be themselves (Fur Farms). Driving some to insanity, to self mutilation and even
cannibalism. It is a command social belief ​“that animals were put on this Earth for our use.”​ Why do we
think this, did we inherited from our ancestor, who years ago hunting to survive. If so why still hang onto
these belief, with the advances we have made we no longer need to kill for our clothing.
When one thinks of pollution, you think about trash in the seas or the oil industry. You don’t
think, my new t-shirt, yet “The clothing industry is the second largest polluter in the world...second only
to oil,” said Eileen Fisher ( Castiel ). To be right next to oil comes from the fashion industries long and
complicated processing chain, from the making of raw materials to the shiping footprint. From it’s
synthetic man-made fabrics like nylon, rayon and the infamiss polyester that are all either completely
comprised of chemicals or are a mixture. Therefor not sustainable, they will not dissolve into the earth
when thrown away, remaining for years. In the washing of said plastic fabrics, microfabrics are released
and take a journey from your washing machine to the ocean. It all adds to a sizable price on our
Fashion is a part of our everyday lives, it is a self expression of who you are so it is something
very close people's hearts. Throughout history it has also greatly effects the fabric of society. It is evident
that fashion is important to personal lives, but does the advantage of having a trendy outfit out weight the
negative effects. “Once upon a time, there were two fashion seasons: Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter.
Fast forward to 2014 and the fashion industry is churning out 52 “micro-seasons” per year,”(Whitehead).
It has become speed up to the point where new trend are out every week so with the new comes the
throwing away of the old. We fill up landfill with clothing that takes years to decompose for example
nylon clothes can take 30-40 years to completely decomposes (How Long it Take for Some Everyday
Items to Decompose). It is truly unjust to put personal desires over the good of the world.
Unethical fashion shows yet another example of how our irresponsibility with the way we
produce, consume and throw away our produces have negative consequences. We need to come to the
realization that the clothing we wear has a devastating environmental impact. Our water resources pay the
price, animals and soon so we will too.
Work Cited

Khouri, Hannah, et al. “Water Usage and the Textile Industry.” ​The Economics of Water​, 2013,

“Cotton Farming.” ​WWF​,


“Fur Farms.” ​PETA​,


Castiel, Daniella. “How Fashion Affects People and the Environment.” ​Sierra Club​, 29 Nov. 2016,


Materials​, 7 Dec. 2017,