Water is an essential and infinitely valuable resource, yet the fashion industry has a particularly bad habit of wasting it. Since the industry is heavily dependent on water – from harvesting raw materials to dyeing and washing – it has become the second-largest consumer of the world’s water supply. The main problems are in how the water is sourced, the release of chemicals back into streams and water sources, and the overall water consumption needed to create clothes.
Air is another element fundamental to human existence. However, it is currently seeing a dramatic increase of the most dangerous greenhouse gases – CO2, which is exacerbating the speed of global warming. The fashion industry accounts for 10% of all carbon emissions derived from human activity. Long and international supply chains are fueled by the incessant desire for cheap labor at every step, from harvesting and spinning to dyeing and crafting. As a result, clothing items fly several miles before arriving in our wardrobes. Any remaining, unsold inventory is often shipped to landfills or incinerated, further contributing to emissions.
Textiles production requires the intensive use of resources, including oil, water and energy. Choosing the right materials and how they are used is important. The consequences of irresponsible use impact soil, freshwaters and other natural resources, affecting ecosystems as a whole. The industry’s use of resources is not optimized, especially for fabrics, where 87% of the total fiber input used ends up going to waste, resulting in the loss of USD 100 billion annually. Such inefficiencies harm the planet both economically and environmentally, but can easily be resolved.
The fashion industry plays a major role in the labor market. It is known to be one of the world’s largest low-wage employers, and one of the most female-dominated industries. For these women, social and economic development is closely linked to their conditions at work: gaining a decent pay and working under dignified conditions, affording them the financial security to provide their children with a decent education and to step out of poverty.
Last but not least is Staiy’s pillar on the environmental consciousness present at all levels of the supply chain, a company’s system that enables the movement of goods from producer to consumer. Staiy promotes a holistic approach to the supply chain, from the sourcing of raw materials, design, and production to retail, post-purchase, and every step in between. Sustainability requires an ethical approach from all parties, including producers, suppliers, retailers and consumers.