Fast Fashion and the Climate –

This page is a lesson for Earth Month. How to live sustainably is an important lesson for all of us, and one that we were not taught in society. Hope these videos help you as much as they have helped me. If you want to see more content like this, please subscribe to keep this series going.

The fashion industry is the second-most polluting industry in the world, right after oil production. Every cotton t-shirt puts uses 2,000 gallons of waters to make. The dyes and pesticides make it into the environment. And the shirt ends up in the trash.

That’s a cotton t-shirt. What about the fact that our clothes are frequently made of plastic (polyester)? The polyester breaks down over time, becoming microplastics in the water ways.

Circular Economy – the fashion industry that makes the clothes should be responsible for the loss, end life of the clothing

Fast Fashion

This video is perfect for elementary students – I used this to introduce the problem and paused before new segments to get them to think of their predictions. It is 22 minutes and gives a very thorough introduction to the “donated” clothes problem, the harms of fast fashion brands, and how the fashion sold in Canada comes from low-paid labor in Bangladesh or China, before ending up shipped to Nairobi, Kenya to be resold or dumped, burnt in landfills.

The Final Resting Place of Clothing

Panipat in India is where textiles go at the end of their life cycle. The town discusses their thoughts on the decayed, tossed-aside clothing that comes in by the ton, each and every day.

Italian recycling factory of wool fibers

Can our old clothes become building blocks in their second usage?

Her prior work was turning plastic bottles into STEEL! Professor Veena Sahajwalla takes ‘trash’ and turns it into something that will cause less use of coal. She is now working on creating micro-factories in local towns so that they can make their own products from their collected waste.

Polyester clothing – sending microplastics out to sea

We are on track to have more plastic in the ocean than fish, by weight, in 2050. Already, one in 3 fish has plastic in it, often plastic from polyester fiber. One of the biggest leaks of plastic into the environment is through our washing machines, as our polyester clothes shed microfibers. The best thing to do for polyester clothes is to wash them as little as possible.

Your Laundry Habits Affects the World

Explanations of where the energy goes in your laundry’s washing habits.

TED Talks – the problem explained

The Breakdown of our Cheap Fashion

A discussion about polyester, microplastics. Polyester makes us sweat more (because it’s non-breathable plastic), and it is energy intensive to make.

Fashion is the second-greatest polluter of fresh water globally.

How to find sustainable clothing: Zady Fashion Is the material well-designed? Is it linen? Are the factories providing a living wage? Is it made of polyester? Is there pollution going on?

Excellent Motivation on how to be fashionable and value-driven

This video has Gabriella Smith discussing how fashion works in a “Take, Make, Waste” model. We take from the environment, make clothing while exploiting workers and giving consumers clothes that will not last, and then waste them – throwing them into landfills.

This video talks about the phenomenon of $10 stitched jackets, and giveaway clothes donations, It also shows perceptions of American clothing waste held by other countries in the world (the clip in this video is from a documentary above.) Fashion has a deep impact on the health and lives of others around the world, including the death of over a thousand people in Bangladesh.

Mrs. Johnston discusses the fashion technology innovations that will help save the industry from being so pollutant. Less dyes, better polyester-cotton blend recycling, better conditions for workers,

Australian perspective – “Who gets harmed by our clothes?”

Trisha Striker really gets into who is profiting, who is not profiting from the fashion industry’s current practices.

Ethical Fashion Manufacturing Practices, with Clara Vuletich

This video is about training fashion designers to think about the life cycle of garments. It discusses the massive amount of pesticides used to make one t-shirt.

We have the ability to solve this problem.

We need to make the incentives there that protecting the planet comes before polluting it.

We need to ensure that the workers get a fair living wage.

We need transparency in our brands, that they inform us of their labor practices.

We need the technology investment so that clothes are not made on energy grids powered by coal.

We need governments protecting consumers – building that infrastructure and regulations so that a “race to the bottom” of plastic clothing on unfair wages with polluting dyes isn’t companies’ best economic incentive.

We need to set the trends:

  1. Buying ess,
  2. Buy second hand
  3. Buy ethical brands
  4. Repurpose clothing
  5. Buy better quality for longer lifestyle

1) Buying less, 2) Buy second hand 3) Buy ethical brands 4) Repurpose clothing 5) Buying better quality for longer lifestyle

Circular Economy of Resources, explained for kids

The living world has decomposers, who remake items after their lifecycle. Why don’t our human-made products have a solid manner of decomposing and recomposing those materials, so we can keep items flowing in a circle of life, rather than a straight line to the landfill?

Explains the circular model in more depth

What’s one step you can take to living more sustainably with your clothing habits?

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