The World Bank estimates that 17 to 20 percent of industrial water pollution comes from textile dyeing and treatment. They’ve also identified 72 toxic chemicals in our water that solely originated from textile dyeing, 30 of which cannot be removed. This represents an appalling environmental challenge for designers and manufacturers.
Oh, and that’s just the dyeing, not the waste.
Two thousand thirteen is already shaping up to be a major game-changing year for sustainable and environmentally sound fashion movers and shakers like these 10 featured companies and individuals. Innovative, fearless and ready to tackle the dirty fashion industry one step at a time, these people are also proving fashion and sustainability can be achieved.
While some big names have entered the environmental ring, like H&M’s Conscious Collection, Walmart and the Levi’s waterless denim line, new concerns have evolved. We have to question if companies are using greenwashing as a smokescreen for other ethical atrocities, like the recent garment factory fire in Bangladesh that killed over 117 people.
Sustainability, whatever your definition might be, can’t solely be about the environment. As many are learning the hard way, it has to be holistic.
From waterless technology to zero-waste fashion, and millennials toting a new fashion manufacturing flag, these people are teaching the industry to be cleaner and to use less.
(The Earth lets out a huge sigh of relief.)
Photo: Jamie Grill/Getty Images