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Choosing Responsible Fashion: A Sustainable Path to a Better Future

When it comes to making choices in the world of fashion, we often focus solely on immediate benefits and drawbacks. However, this mindset can lead to overconsumption and neglect of long-term sustainability. Consumers seek the feel-good factor, while suppliers prioritize cost-efficient production. The low cost of production results in mass-produced fashion items flooding the market, often lacking quality and sustainable practices.

This cycle of overconsumption and short garment lifespans has detrimental effects on both the environment and society. Thankfully, there is a growing emphasis on sustainability in the fashion industry. Companies are adopting greener practices to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and water consumption.

By choosing responsible fashion, we pave the way for a sustainable future. Statistics reveal a 40% drop in clothing use, despite a doubling in clothing production over the past 15 years. Mass textile production is responsible for approximately 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions and 20% of freshwater pollution, as reported by the European Parliament.  

Despite the existence of thrift markets, excessive consumption of clothing by consumers is mostly discarded. Excessive consumption leads to the disposal of clothing in African countries through illegal dumping. As reported by Greenpeace Africa These nations bear the costs of disposal, with over 458 million pieces of imported used clothing to Kenya alone being deemed worthless in 2021.

Overconsumption also takes a toll on lives on the frontline, with a large proportion of employees in major Asian garment export giants being paid below minimum wage. For instance, the Philippines exhibits a non-compliance rate of 53.3%, and its minimum wage of USD 150 surpasses that of countries like Cambodia at USD 128.  

To break away from overconsumption, change is needed from both the supply and demand sides. Education plays a crucial role in shifting consumer habits. By understanding the consequences of overconsumption and the benefits of sustainable clothing, consumers can make more conscious purchasing decisions.  

"Responsible Fashion" emerges as the beacon of our future. As consumers, responsible suppliers, and stakeholders, it is our collective effort that will shape a better world. Let's choose responsible fashion for a sustainable path to a brighter future. Together, let's shape a sustainable yet fashionable future together!

<div class="story_highlight">Research is based on information from Ellen MacArthur Foundation, European Parliament, Greenpeace Africa, and International Labor Organization.</div>