The fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries in the world, and a major contributor to climate change.
Did you know that
- the textile industry relies on mostly non-renewable resources - including crude oil - to produce synthetic fibers, fertilizers to grow cotton, and chemicals to produce, dye and finish fibers and textiles?
- if the industry continues on its current path, says the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, by 2050 it could use more than 25% of the carbon budget associated with a 2% global warming limit?
- the fashion industry is a major water consumer and polluter? It can take 2,700 liters to produce the cotton needed to make a single t-shirt, according to the National Geographic?
- our clothes are often a cocktail of chemicals and toxins?
- the world now consumes about 80 billion new pieces of clothing every year according to The True Cost movie - this is 400% more than the amount we consumed just 20 years ago, and that “Fast Fashion” is a major reason for that?
So why do we need sustainable sports clothes?
Sports clothes are part of the textile industry - so the above issues are linked to sportswear as well. On top of that, most of the activewear available today is made from plastics, the most commonly used is polyester, nylon, or polyamide. Now why is that a problem?
- Plastics like polyester are commonly made from the non-renewable crude oil. In 2015, more than 330 million barrels of oil were used to make polyester and other synthetic textiles – the equivalent of more than 21,000 Olympic swimming pools. And today, about 65% of all clothes worldwide are made from synthetics like polyester.
- Plastics release hundreds of thousands of microplastics into our environment when we wash them, entering our waters, oceans, animals and our bodies. And we tend to wash sports clothes very often. These microplastics don’t biodegrade like natural fibers and can take hundreds of years until they are dissolved - leaving toxic substances in our ecosystem.
- Plastics like polyester can include a higher amount of harmful chemicals compared to more natural fibers and that can cause allergic reactions or other severe effects in our bodies over time. That is especially an issue when we wear these clothes directly on our skin.