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WORLD WATER DAY AND SUSTAINABLE FASHION: THE IMPACTS AND THE SOLUTIONS

The topic of sustainable fashion is an ever-evolving conversation, one which impacts not only the fashion industry but the environment and greater society. The shift from fast to slow fashion is a movement which is progressively gaining momentum worldwide, and consumers are beginning to recognise the impacts of their fashion choices, but we still have a long way to go.

There are many factors which contribute to sustainability in the supply chain, and the use of water is a major point of contention in the fashion industry impact debate.

The 22nd of March marked World Water Day, an annual event which has been promoting wise water use since its inception in 1993 on behalf of the United Nations General Assembly. This year’s central theme of 'wastewater' was chosen to tackle a formidable fact: 663 million people still lack improved drinking water sources.

When the fashion industry is concerned, the statistics of water usage and water waste are alarming; 2720 litres of water are used in the production process of an everyday t-shirt, which is the equivalent of three years of water supply for the average person.

With climate change and drought adding pressure on the world’s water supply, the discrepancy between sustainable water use and our current state of affairs with cotton production is evident.

Cotton was once a naturally occurring and organically farmed resource, however, it has now become a genetically modified, over-cultivated environmental hazard. Farmers genetically modify the cotton plant crop to increase production speeds, but in doing so, toxic pesticides seep into the soil and contaminate water supplies downstream. Over 80% of the world’s untreated wastewater washes back into the ecosystem, and the damaging effects flow on. With the unethical production of cotton, we are creating a cycle that is both unsustainable and detrimental.

To lessen the fashion industry's contribution to the global water waste problem, The Dress Collective stocks a range of ethical and sustainable brands who utilise locally-cultivated, non-GMO fabrics. Azulant Akora is just one of the many brands who is taking the issue of sustainability seriously, and its forward-thinking use of ethically grown wool positions it at the forefront of the slow fashion revolution. Azulant Akora's handcrafted clothing is synonymous with Australian Merino wool, and each garment is created with organic, cruelty-free wool textiles, ensuring a biodynamic fashion cycle.

Wool is a long-life fibre which biodegrades in soil without harm to the environment, it is a naturally renewable resource, and on average, the energy consumption throughout the wool production process is six times less than cotton. Wool textiles are weaving an ethical and sustainable fashion future, as are the many Australian made brands at The Dress Collective who are embracing them.

By supporting local and ethical fashion, you too can join the conversation.

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