The Cotton Yarn: The Impacts of Producing a Widely-used Textile
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The Cotton Yarn

The Cotton Yarn

Fashion | October 17, 2020
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This writer is positive. So positive that fashion is still on its feet. And that even at this time, during the pandemic, the machinery of local fashion has been re-oiled and already has begun a slow and fresh start. This is also a new beginning for me. To be writing for a publication was not even in my bucket list. I thank the Mega Publishing Group for inviting me to be one of their contributors. Just as the yarn is woven into the fabric, this monthly column will talk about topics that are components of the world of fashion.

Like yarn to fabric, a diverse set of topics converge into the wonderful world of fashion.

Did you know that in order to produce one cotton T-shirt, an eye-popping 2,700 liters of water is needed? Yes, you read it right, and that is according to an article by the World Wildlife Organization that I chanced upon on the web. Cotton is a water-intensive crop, and it is the most used natural fiber. Growing it involves using almost 25% of the world’s insecticide. Processing this crop includes further utilization of water. And according to a study by the European Parliamentary Research Service, the dyeing and treatment of textiles contribute to approximately 25% of industrial water pollution, which consequently contaminates the waterways. Domestic washing further adds to this contamination.

The widely-used textile can be found in almost any person’s wardrobe. How does this impact the planet?

I never thought a single T-shirt can leave this much environmental footprint. To think that the white tee comprises, probably, a third of my wardrobe. After reading these sobering statistics, I got myself to thinking how, as a consumer and a fashion designer, I can lessen my participation in environmental destruction. Hmm, let me count the ways:

1. From now on, I will buy only according to my needs and not my wants. No hoarding.

2. I will only buy those of good quality and durability—no disposable fashion.

Reusable and durable essentials will not only save you money, but also help the environment as well.

3. Citing an article by the UK Wrap Organization, if consumers can use a piece of clothing 9 or more months longer, it can reduce its CO2 emissions by 27%, water by 38%, and waste by 22%. Recycle or give them away.

4. If locally available, purchasing T-shirts made of organic cotton would be the ideal choice, as organic cultivation restricts fertilizer use. It will, for sure, be more pricey, but just think about the environment.

5. I will no longer iron those garments that I use at home. This will save energy.

Energy-saving solutions will make your life easier at home and reduce the amount of work too.

6. As a manufacturer of garments, I can start by pursuing zero waste designs and using organic and sustainable raw materials. No to overproduction.

Tough challenges as they are, I have to adapt and initiate changes in my choices, my habits, my lifestyle, and my profession, because I deem it my responsibility to lessen the degradation of biodiversity.

Learn more about recycling garments by watching this video.

It’s time to shift in a positive direction. And that’s now!

It would be highly appreciated if you, readers, can send in questions, comments, or topics you want this column to tackle.

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