Fabric toxicity that lurks inside your cupboard

Imagining yourself getting up from the bed and setting yourself up for your usual daily routine. You open your cupboard to grab one attire and all you consume is toxicity- unknowingly. Know how?

We wear clothes and consume them in large quantities because clothes determine once personality and it defines parts of you that you would want to highlight as a matter of public display– an impression we have heard growing up. As Diana Vreeland famously said: “ Fashion must be the most intoxicating release from the banality of the world.”

Image source : Klooker

The world of fashion is manifold and the unbridled production of high-Street brands and their demand for their growing profitability – thus blurring a thin line between sustainability and need. In one of the TEDx talks interview, Clara Vuletich a researcher, a designer, and an educator talk about the careful consumption of clothes according to our needs and necessities. She says – “Globally we are buying so many clothes then we were and according to global statistics globally the number of clothes that we buy individually per year has gone up from 7 kilos to 10 kilos in ten years. As a result, there are more amount of clothes that are produced and then discarded into landfills. There is, therefore, a huge increase in waste.”

Image source : wrinkle Free Steamer

The concern for the environment should be the need of the hour and clothing industry being the host and a giver- is creating a matter of concern for many researchers. The landfills are getting polluted due to everyday disposing of clothes that embody damaging fabrics that scarcely gets decomposed. With chemical advances in the 1940s, man-made fibres were introduced thus giving options to the consumer to gradually shift from cotton to cheap fabrics. Polyester is a textile that dominates the industry due to its cheap price tags and recyclable quality- but recycling polyester would mean consuming more polyester. “Polyester is one fabric that takes much longer years to decomposed- which would be few 100 years,” says Vuletich. On the other hand, woollen clothes emit harmful methane and ammonia into the air thus harmful for consumers as well as the environment.

Image source : Wool couture

A study conducted by Greenpeace states that around 400 billion square meters of textiles are produced every year of which 60 billion meters are left as waste on the cutting room floor. Rajni Jacques, fashion director, Teen Vogue, and Allure says, “ The purpose of fashion can be simple: You need clothing to maneuver in the world. Forget fashion as a trend, think fashion and clothing as a necessity. You need a pair of pants, a shirt, shoes to go on that interview, to the grocery store, your cousins’ wedding. It’s how we present ourselves to live”.

The fast fashion is creating a threat for our endangered planet- going to be extinct one day if the trend of consuming synthetic fabric or fabrics containing toxic chemicals continues, thus ignoring the sustainability tag. You must know what goes into the product that you are consuming before disbursing your hard-fought money into something that needs to be discarded one day.

What do you think?

Written by Sanghamitra Gogoi

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