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Cheap Clothing Industry Costly On The Planet

Cheap fashion costly on the planet

British MPs propose measures against the consumption of clothing, as the textile industry emits more more carbon dioxide than airplanes and ships combined!

Photo EPA / DIEGO AZUBEL

The biggest fashion chains in the United Kingdom have had to clear their names in recent months because they sell their goods cheaply it is beyond logic how they make a profit. How can a T-shirt cost two or three pounds and where in that is the salary of workers, marketing, transport, storage. Questions were asked by members of the parliamentary committee on ecology, who was tasked with determining the effects on the environment by so-called fast fashionand. They proposed measures to lower the consequences.

The report published this week warns that the British fashion industry produces one million tons of waste annually and that it is a bigger source of carbon dioxide than planes and ships together. The document is the result of a months-long investigation by parliamentarians on the environmental sustainability of textile production. After hearing representatives of 16 companies, the board concluded that so far efforts to protect the environment have been canceled by the mere fact that the sales of clothes for the last six years have increased by 200,000 tons and that the "life cycle" of today's clothing is shorter than it ever was - lasts on average only two years.

One of the proposed measures is a one-penny tax on every piece of clothing, in order to finance the recycling program from the £ 35 million collected. Statistics say that currently only 1 percent of discarded cloths are recycled. Consumers were sent an appeal to buy less and repair clothes, and the suggestion is for pupils to learn minor corrections, for example - to patch something or put a patch.

Symbols of modern times are fast food and fast fashion. Chains such as the Swedish "H&M" and the Spanish "Zara" democratized fashion, enabling broad masses to keep up with trends at affordable prices. Even companies such as "PRIMARK" went further, dropping the price of some pieces to just two euros. Asked by deputies how the t-shirt can cost two euros, the director of this Irish chain has responded that their margins are small and that they do not spend on advertising. Chairwoman of the board, labby Mary Craig, commented that customers were sent a message saying that the shirt is no longer worth it and then it is no wonder that it is treated as a one-time use.

Professor Dyllis Williams, a professor at the London Fashion College, told MPs that a t-shirt manufactured according to environmental standards and under fair working conditions can not be produced for even six pounds, let alone two.

The British are throwing clothes worth £ 140 million annually and buying more clothes from any other European nation. Every week, they buy 38 million pieces, and 11 million are tossed into trash. On average, they put 26.7 kilograms of new clothes every year in the closet, more than twice as many as Swedes who buy 12.6 kg. Fashionable machinery for smaller foods and Germans (16.7 kg) and Italians (14.5 kg), according to the report.

The consequences for the environment and society are enormous. It is estimated that the textile industry, one of the five most dirty ones, emits 1.25 billion tons of carbon dioxide a year, while in the oceans it throws out 20 to 35 percent of all the plastics that end there. In order to produce a kilo of cotton, enough for one T-shirt and jeans, it consumes between 10,000 and 20,000 liters of water.

Production is often carried out in rough working conditions in the United Kingdom and poorer third world countries. The Ecology Committee's report also criticized the conditions of work at factories. It was suggested that consumers be provided with data on who manufactured the clothing and under what conditions. Since 2013, 1,100 workers have been killed in the demolition of a textile factory in Bangladesh, where it is mainly for European consumers, there is a growing pressure on companies to see the supplier's supply chain.

It is also required to prohibit the burning and throwing of unsold clothing. Last year, the luxury brand "Barberi" shocked many when it announced that it had burnt unsold outfits, bags and perfumes worth nearly 30 million pounds to protect the brand and preserve exclusivity. The instructors say that the burning of unsold goods is the dirtiest public secret of the fashion industry and even praised Barberi for openness, as others usually do not publish data.

Reference: Politika Newspaper.

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