What's needed to clean up the fashion industry?

A new report from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation outlines steps to a circular fashion economy.

The fashion industry is notorious for being the second most polluting on Earth, next to oil and gas. Fast fashion brands have made clothes cheaper, trendier, and more accessible than ever, but this comes at the high cost of diminished resources, dangerous production conditions, chemical exposure, energy spent on transportation, and GHG emissions when these items are thrown in landfill.

Other reports have revealed the damage caused by polyester fabrics when washed. Tiny plastic microfibres become dislodged in the washing machine and flushed into waterways, where they are ingested by marine wildlife and enter the food chain. It brings a whole new disturbing meaning to the idea of "eating one's shirt."

Fast fashion pieces are not kept, nor are they designed to be; an estimated 50 percent of fast fashion items are discarded within a year of purchasing. Less than 1 percent of textiles is recycled, and one garbage truck full of textiles is landfilled or burnt every second....more