For some people, the worry of not having clean water to drink has never entered their heads, sadly this is not the case for everyone. Many people around the world still do not have access to clean water, and yet, trillions of litres of water is used every year to make the clothes we wear. This doesn’t make sense does it?
Some of the most popular places to make clothing are in areas where clean water is scarce. Further to this - one of the main issues is dirty water - 1.3 trillion gallons of water is used each year to dye clothing and 85% of this isn’t cleaned before being returned back. Water pollution is a huge and growing global issue. Water that becomes contaminated with chemicals, whether it’s chemicals from production or incorrectly disposed of waste, kills water and land life. In poor countries, where water purification is rare and expensive, contaminated water can lead to life-threatening diseases and infant mortality. Amazing organisations and charities such as Frank Water provide the means and educate people in poorer communities to clean the water themselves.
According to our dye house in Turkey, the average pair of jeans uses 45 litres of water in the finishing process. Meanwhile, 2.2 billion people around the world lack access to clean water. Here’s a statement taken from the United Nations’ website;
“One of the most important recent milestones has been the recognition in July 2010 by the United Nations General Assembly of the human right to water and sanitation. The Assembly recognized the right of every human being to have access to enough water for personal and domestic uses, meaning between 50 and 100 litres of water per person per day.....”
An average order from a fast fashion retailer is about 20,000 pcs of denim, so takes an average of 900,000 litres of water which otherwise could provide for over 450,000 people. To make this even more shocking, the water is more often than not coming from developing countries where clean water is scarce. We are prioritising producing clothing over people’s health.