It Takes HOW Much Water To Make A Pair Of Jeans?
The Business of Change in a High-Polluting Industry
Earth Day is just around the corner. Every year on April 22nd, more and more people all around the world participate in Earth Day celebrations and events to bring more and more awareness to the issues we face in caring for the earth as it supports us and our livelihoods.
We face many environmental challenges now, including those directly connected to the exploits of fast fashion, like extensive polluting of air, water, and earth, shortages of potable water, and the deforestation and decrease of natural green spaces as room is made to grow resource consuming crops to turn into textiles and landfills get rapidly filled by the discarded fast fashion garments worn an average of seven times.
JORDYN LEAH SWIM is in the business of counteracting the detrimental effects of fast fashion. We’re on a mission to create impact for ethical, sustainable, and environmentally friendly fashion, and for good. Good for you, good for Earth, good for all who are involved in the process.
Because the most profound truth is that creating change in the fashion industry to steer it toward being an agent for good instead of the destructive force it has become isn’t about just people, or just the environment - it’s about both, equally and simultaneously.
Earth Day is about promoting the preservation of a healthy environment - earth, water, and air - and about actively participating in discussions and learning opportunities on how we can each make choices and changes that create a positive impact. The environment we live in is a critical part of human wellbeing and that’s why we care so deeply about the link between the fashion industry’s negative impact on the environment through the fast fashion practice that churns out obscene quantities of apparel getting worn an average of seven times per item before being tossed into the trash and heaping up landfills. Human lives are being destroyed by the build-up of environmental harm this horrific reality of the industry is producing.
Fast Fashion Kills The Environment
From textile crop growing to landfill pile-up, the fast fashion industry greedily consumes and destroys.
What is the scope of the impact? To get a better understanding of just what it means to churn and burn through cheaply made and cheaply purchased apparel, let’s look at what it costs the earth and its most disadvantaged people to produce just one pair of jeans.
The Impact of Making One Pair of Jeans
The Water Footprint of Jeans
Making just one pair of jeans takes up a staggering 2,922 liters (772 gallons) of water. Here’s how:
- Crop - Jeans are made from cotton fiber and growing the cotton takes up 2,564 liters (677 gallons) of water for one pair of jeans.
- Textile Manufacturing - Once the cotton is grown and harvested, it goes through a threading and weaving process to make it into fabrics, after which it’s dyed and washed using water. This uses 236 liters (62 gallons) of water.
- Manufacturing - The jean is cut, sewn, and washed to produce the finish (ex. the worn-in style look), and packaged. This uses 111 liters (29 gallons) of water.
- Transportation - The jean is shipped by boat and truck to its end shopping destination, using up 10 liters (2.6 gallons) of water along the way.
Remember, that’s one pair of jeans.
Six billion pairs of jeans are manufactured on average per year.
That’s 2,922 liters (772 gallons) of fresh water multiplied by SIX BILLION.
Every single year.
Doesn’t that just blow your mind?! Doesn’t that give a sobering perspective on the massive scale of what the apparel industry has turned into in the pursuit of excess that’s worn an average of seven times before being dumped in landfills that are constantly swallowing up nature and greenspace?
And remember, that’s just jeans. Add all the other apparel items alongside that and the seriousness of the problem begins to become even more in focus.
This doesn't even take into consideration all of the other factors involved, like the chemical pollutants being dumped into waterstreams in the colour dying process. Or the fact that almost all of these six billion per year jeans are manufactured from textile to finished product in developing countries without the regulations to preserve environment or human dignity.
Earth Day as an official recognition day devoted to the plight of the environment under the burden of destructive practices is on April 22nd. But really, every day is earth day, isn’t it? The choices we make on a daily basis is what creates impact over time and at JORDYN LEAH SWIM we believe in actively participating in this by creating incredible swimwear fashion made to love, last, reduce, preserve, and uphold the integrity of human dignity and Earth’s fragility.
If you’re shopping for a new swimsuit, our digital boutique is open for your 24/7 shopping convenience and stocked with carefully designed, sustainably-focused, small-batch made, quality assured, ethically sourced and produced swimsuits in both one-piece and two-piece styles. Why not start your transition to ethical fashion with a swimsuit?
P.S. We care deeply and profoundly about the severe harm to both the environment and human life that the fast-fashion industry produces but it’s so important that while you embark on the journey of educating yourself on the topic that you don’t despair and punish yourself. You don’t have to overhaul your entire life overnight in order to be a good person. Buy your favourite pair of jeans, a couple if you want. But decide how and when you're going to recycle them, up-cycle them, donate them, etc. Make one change at a time, as you are able. Small alterations on a mass scale create huge impact. JORDYN LEAH SWIM is devoted to both human and environmental wellbeing. Please take care of you in the process of making the change you are able to make to create a healthier earth for all of our tomorrows.