THE FASHION INDUSTRY AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Climate change has been a major concern in the world in recent years. Climate is defined as the weather condition of a place over a long period of time. Change in climate can be traced to certain human activities over the years. Industries such as Agriculture, Electricity, Mining, Transportation, Fashion etc. Sustainable Development Goal 13 is about climate action and is one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals established by the United Nations in 2015. The aim of this goal is to “Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts” before 2030.

SDG 13

A research carried out by Mc Kinsey has proven that the fashion industry makes a sizeable contribution to climate change. In 2018 it was shown that the fashion industry was responsible for at least 4 percent of global greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions in 2018.  A greenhouse gas is any gaseous compound in the atmosphere that is capable of absorbing infrared radiation, thereby trapping and holding heat in the atmosphere.  A few examples of Greenhouse gases include Water vapor, Carbon dioxide, Methane, Ozone, Nitrous oxide, Chlorofluorocarbons. The Earth’s greenhouse gases trap heat in the atmosphere and warm the planet, these gases are responsible for the greenhouse effect, which ultimately leads to global warming which also in turn leads to climate change. These greenhouse gases are produced due to unsustainable practices within the Fashion industry, it involves the process of production, manufacturing and transportation of the fabrics. These processes involve the emission of carbon which in turn contributes to climate change.

Biodegradability is an important factor to note on how the fashion industry contributes to Climate change.  Natural fabrics would decompose naturally with the actions of microorganisms. There are different types of biodegradable plant-based fabrics including, cotton, abaca, hemp, bamboo, silk, jute, etc., Some animal-based fabrics are also biodegradable, depending on the circumstances.

The type of dye used in fabric product also plays an important role in climate change. Natural dyes are considered to be eco-friendly as they are biodegradable and renewable, Synthetic dyes are not biodegradable hence, they are not eco-friendly. Turmeric, acacia, red sandalwood, henna, madder, lac dye are examples of natural dyes. Natural dyes can also be gotten from plants i.e Lonchocarpus Cyanescens known as Elu Aja in Yoruba language is the plant that gives the indigo color the Adire fabric. The colors produced by natural dyes are vibrant. They are not only biodegradable but nontoxic which is better for humans and the environment.  By using natural dyes over these other choices, you are helping preserve the environment. Natural dyes provide higher UV absorption in the fabrics they are used on. By wearing clothes dyed naturally, you are able to more fully protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays.

The Elu Aja Leaf which Adire is made from.

Plastic pollution is also a major cause of climate change which cannot be ignored, Plastic-based fabrics like acrylic, nylon, fleece, polyester, and rayon are some of the least biodegradable fabrics. Not only do these synthetic fabrics not biodegrade, but the manufacturing process of these fabrics are also unsustainable. These polyester factories release pollution into the environment and use a lot of gallons of water to produce them. When polyester fabrics don’t degrade, they turn into dangerous microplastics, which causes harm to humans and animals.  Sunlight and heat cause the plastic to release powerful greenhouse gases.  As our climate changes, the planet gets hotter, the plastic breaks down into more methane and ethylene, increasing the rate of climate change.  It is advised to cut down our use of plastics from polyester clothing to shopping bags and other everyday products. We should focus on using products that can be recycled.

The Adire shopping bag.

Cutting down on the use of synthetic and industrially modified products in making fabrics, from the type of fabric to the dye used in making fabrics are ways the fashion industry can be more sustainable. Wear your support for the environment and join the fight to curb climate change. At Adire Lounge we use Eco friendly dyes, a more sustainable option to reduce the impact of pollution in the fashion industry.

Adire lounge is an African hand-dyed textile company that creates unique designs on non-conventional fabrics like silk, chiffon, T-shirts, scarves, and cotton. We are your one stop shop for everything Adire! We deliver everywhere in Nigeria and all over the world. You can also check us out on our website www.adirelounge.com and follow us on various social media platforms @adirelounge to see what we have in our store and to place an order.

Adire Lounge

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