Swap fashion and the environmental solution for fashion industry


Fashion industry brings about thousands of cheap and trendy clothes. However, it comes at an environmental cost. Luckily, many pioneers have brought out a number of solutions to help the environment become better. It includes swap fashion – one of the most effective ways to not only revamp your closet but also help protect the environment.

How does the fashion industry impact on the environment and what swap fashion can do for it? Let’s take a look at this article!

Fashion industry is threatening our planet

At this time, some parts of modern life are the main causes of serious environmental harm. Aviation, agriculture, machine industry, driving,… are the most typical names of factors making the environment conditions getting worse. Mentioning the fashion industry, the damage is clearer as the industry is growing rapidly.

Fashion industry and water pollution

The Quantis International 2018 reported that cotton cultivation has a huge impact on freshwater withdrawal and ecosystem quality. This is because fertilizers for cotton production are the main source of water contamination. Furthermore, the dyeing, finishing, yarn preparation, and fiber production stages have led to resource depletion due to the over usage of fossil fuel energy. 

Untreated wastewater from garment companies - swap fashion
Untreated wastewater from garment companies is dumped directly into a stream. Photo: 61nvja7.

Additionally, in most areas which have garment companies, untreated toxic wastewaters are dumped directly into the rivers, ditches, or streams. Besides, lead, mercury, arsenic, and many other toxins are the main chemical components of wastewater. Moreover, these toxic substances also reach the sea and then spread all over the world. As a consequence, millions of  aquaticlife’s lives are extremely affected. 

Water consumption is exhausted badly

Fashion industry causes the depletion of water consumption, too. To produce one shirt, it takes about 700 gallons of water. They are equivalent to eights cups of water per day for one person to drink for three and a half years. As for a pair of jeans, it takes about 2,000 gallons, which is equivalent to eight cups per day for people to drink for 10 years (“Fast Fashion’s Detrimental Effect on the Environment” – impakter.com). That’s because of the highly water-intensive plant that is the main material of shirt and jeans: cotton. Imagine how many of them are produced per day? If we keep producing a large amount of clothes everyday, the water consumption will reach the bottom. There will not be enough water for daily usage as well as for other activities.

Our health are harmed by fashion industry

Every year, there are about 500,000 tons of microfibers from washing clothes activities released into the ocean (“These facts show how unsustainable the fashion industry is” – www.weforum.org). This number is equivalent to approximately 50 billion plastic bottles floating on the surface. Moreover, most of them are polyester, an element in 60% of clothing. They are then eaten by aquatic animals which later go into bigger fish, making their way into our food chain. When we eat these foods, we are almost taking in tiny microfibers along with them. As a result, it links to lots of health problems, including obesity, organ problems, and reproductive harm.

Microfiber in sea water
Microfiber in sea water. Photo: iStock/Tunatura.

People will have to face textile waste everywhere 

As the fashion trend continues to change every day, clothing has become out of date and disposable quickly. As a consequence, it is taking a toll on the environment. A western family throws away about 30 kilograms of clothing each year. Only 15% of them are for donating or recycling, and the rest ends up in the dump (“FASHION INDUSTRY: DISASTROUS IMPACT ON ENVIRONMENT” – www.georgeherald.com). Moreover, people are now buying 60% more textiles than they did in 2000. They only keep these items for half as long. Additionally, fashion companies and some brands also offer even more than one collection per year. This has led to the uncontrolled number of clothing products. In total, about 85% of them go to the dump each year, which is enough to fill the Sydney harbor. If we don’t bring out the best solution, we will have to live with trash. 

Dump filled with trash from clothes
Dump filled with trash from clothes. Photo: Terra 20.

Swap fashion – A sustainable solution to protect the environment

If we want to protect the environment as well as our own lives, we need to find out the effective ways. Swap fashion – a definition that has been gaining in popularity lately – is considered as one of them. Why do we have to buy new clothes when you can swap what you no longer use for the ones that need a new home? Clothes swap, simply say, is an opportunity to give all your clothes one more round of life. Instead of throwing your pieces of dresses, shirts, jeans… to the landfill, just swap them with others. 

Hence, swap fashion helps to reduce clothing trash, keep the environment cleaner and fresher. Moreover, there will be a huge volume of pieces of clothes that will be reused. As a result, it helps to cut down the high demand for water, energy and raw materials. Besides, clothes swap items can help you F5 your closet and have more items with cash-free. Therefore, you will have the chance to save money for other daily necessities. 

Technology can also help to save our planet

Thanks to the fast development of technology, it gives some revolution. There are many Information Technology companies that create apps that not only allow users to buy clothes. But also help them to try on and swap clothes with other users. Firstly, we can mention This For That application. This is an Indian swap fashion app that helps you exchange your clothes with others for free. All you need to do is upload the photo of your closet, choose items from the others and wait for the items delivered. Clothes swap items from this app help you get the outfit you like from others’ wardrobe, fashion your style. Besides, swapping clothes on This For That also helps reduce clothing trash and demand for produce new clothes to protect the environment.

Smart Fashion - swap fashion
Smart Fashion allows users to try clothes with a virtual fitting room. Photo: Smart Fashion.

Another app that we can mention is Smart Fashion – a newborn application in the clothes matching app market. Smart Fashion provides two main functions which not only help users try on clothes with virtual try on but also give outfits recommendations. Moreover, the developers of the Smart Fashion application are extending the usefulness of the “Try-on” function by letting users swap their clothes with other user’s. As a result, you can either mix and match clothing items as your way or use others’ style to try on yourself and see how you look with their outfits. How interesting!

In conclusion, the fashion industry is seriously facing many environmental issues. Clothes swap is not an absolute solution, but in fact, it could help to reduce the pollution caused by the fashion industry by reducing the yearly amount of clothes that are thrown away.