What Does Earth Day and Fashion Revolution Week Have in Common?
Today, April 22nd, marks both Earth Day and the first day of Fashion Revolution Week. Here at KOOSHOO, these two events happen to be two of the most important of our calendar, as together they represent why we started this business.
What is Fashion Revolution Week and Why is it Important?
Fashion Revolution Week is an annual campaign held in the final week of April, focusing on the social and environmental issues within the fashion industry. It was established in response to the 2013 Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh, where over 1,100 garment workers died when their factory collapsed - a collapse due to the greed of a fast fashion industry that overlooks the welfare of their contractors as they seek out ever-greater profits.
Fashion Revolution week is important because it not only ensures that the lives lost and altered by an exploitative industry are never forgotten, but it also raises awareness about ongoing labor exploitation, pollution, and waste in the industry. Further, it advocates (and educates for) transparency, ethical practices, and sustainability.
We've written extensively over the years about this important movement so please click forward on the blogs below for both more info about Fashion Revolution Week's origins, along with plenty of tips for how to participate in this important movement.
- The Revolution that is Changing Fashion
- Join the Fashion Revolution on a Budget
- 11 Ways you Can Change the Fashion Industry For Good
What is Earth Day and Why is it Important?
Earth Day is an annual event celebrated on April 22, dedicated to raising awareness about environmental issues and promoting actions to protect our planet. It was first celebrated in 1970 in the United States and has since grown into a global movement, engaging individuals, communities, governments, and organizations all around the world.
The day is intended to highlight a wide range of environmental concerns such as climate change, pollution, deforestation, soil toxicity, and biodiversity loss, and here at KOOSHOO, we feel it an especially pertinent day for what it represents to the fashion industry.
The global fashion industry has a horrible track record when it comes to environmental protection. Here are just a handful of statistics to demonstrate how devastating this industry can be to our planet:
Water consumption: The fashion industry is the second-largest consumer of water globally. It takes approximately 2,700 litres of water to produce one cotton t-shirt, and around 7,500 to 10,000 litres to produce a pair of jeans.
Chemical pollution: Around 20% of global industrial water pollution comes from the treatment and dyeing of textiles. The fashion industry often uses numerous chemicals (not us at KOOSHOO, as you'll read below), some of which are toxic and carcinogenic, posing risks to ecosystems and human health.
Greenhouse gas emissions: The industry contributes approximately 4-10% of global greenhouse gas emissions. This includes emissions from manufacturing, transportation, and the energy used in stores and washing machines.
Waste: The fashion industry generates a considerable amount of waste, with an estimated 92 million tons of textile waste produced annually. The average consumer throws away about 30 kg (66 lbs) of clothing per year, with only 15% being recycled or donated.
Microfiber pollution: Synthetic fabrics like polyester, acrylic, and nylon release microplastic fibers when washed, which eventually end up in oceans and waterways. An estimated 500,000 tons of these microfibers are released into the environment each year.
How are Fashion Revolution Week and Earth Day Related?
This year, it just so happens that Earth Day shares its April 22nd day with the onset of Fashion Revolution Week, and we here at KOOSHOO believe these 2 important movements are a symbiotic pair that have far more in common than not.
By emphasizing the importance of conscious consumer choices, reducing waste, and supporting ethical and eco-friendly businesses, these events help foster a culture of sustainability and social responsibility that can benefit the planet and its inhabitants.A fair Fashion Revolution, after all, is one in which both people and planet are protected.
What Role do Eco-Friendly Businesses like KOOSHOO Play on Earth Day and Fashion Revolution?
We're blessed to operate in a space in which both our customers, and our retail partners, share a similar passion of ours: beautiful products that are made in a way that uplifts both people and planet. And here at KOOSHOO, that basically sums up what we're all about.
We started this business to be a vehicle for good in this world and to us, that's the only way we could do this. We see so many companies both in our space, and beyond, cut corners because it saves them money on the bottom line. We get it. We've been offered that opportunity at almost every turn of our journey....
"....conventional cotton rather than organic could save you 30%..."
"...you don't really need all those certifications for your dye house, we promise we do our best to minimize toxins and pollutants...."
"...our workers could make your line at a fraction of your current cost but no, we don't have any certifications in place vouching for the safety or working conditions of our facilities..."
And while our personal lives may be more comfortable and affluent had we chosen to pursue any of those options, those choices would have betrayed our founding motives of making this world better via business.
It's this ethos, shared by consciously-operated small businesses around the world, that make small business such a catalyst for change on our planet.
It's the small businesses that are so often at the leading edge of community education (empowerment), sustainable innovation, transparency, and, frankly, passion, that are required for real change on this planet.
So this Earth Day, as we kick off Fashion Revolution Week, we invite you to make a commitment to supporting more ethical and consciously-operated small businesses in the year ahead because this is where real change will manifest. We can attest for this first hand as we continue to push the global hair accessories industry more and more towards responsible and ethical production.