Waste is at the heart of the fashion industry as it appears at almost every level of operation, including design, production, delivery, and consumption.

In the context of the rise of sustainable practices in fast fashion supply chains, the globalization of both sourcing and distribution has been one of the most important factors. The textile industry has shifted significantly to less developed countries over the last 30 years.  For example, EU27 clothing imports came from China, Bangladesh, and Turkey, each accounting for about 13% of the total.

Various levels of supply chain structure have changed as a result of globalization. Firstly, the relocation of manufacturing industries has had a significant impact on European industries, such as weaving and spinning, resulting in unemployment for European textile and clothing industry workers. The second major consequence of the extended fashion supply chain is the large environmental impact it has on the larger transport miles it takes. It is aggravated by the pressure of time on fast fashion, which means that most of the shipments are airborne, causing a large amount of CO2 to be emitted into the atmosphere over time.

35% of all materials in the supply chain end up as waste.

Logistics has grown in recent years, and 35% of all materials in the supply chain end up as waste before the product reaches the consumer. This could be waste cutting in the final product due to last-minute design modifications and last-minute recalls and any materials that lose value due to spoilage during the transport process, or any materials that lose value due to lack of sales to retail market sellers.

Some hazardous waste is not easily avoided. In order to be zero waste, garments must be cut out of the fabric in such a way that the waste parts are minimized. If not, there’s always going to be some waste. Researchers estimate that even with conscious effort, the leftover fabric could only be reduced to about 10% of the materials used. It is more likely that the more clothing is produced, the more likely it is to generate leftover waste.

The fashion industry relies on the water at a rate of 189 million cubic metres per day.

The fashion industry uses almost 80 billion cubic meters of water each year to produce clothing. Most of this water is discharged into polluted rivers and other sources of water. In total, this sector relies on the water at a rate of 189 million cubic meters per day.

The Borw Team

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