- The global textile and clothing industry (including textile, clothing, footwear and luxury fashion) is currently worth nearly 2600 Billion Euros, which accounts for 2% of the worlds gross domestic product (GDP).
- Worldwide, around 80 billion garments are produced per year. This is 400% more than only two decades ago.
- A century ago, we spent more than half our money on food and clothes. Today we spend less than a fifth while purchasing 400% more clothing than we did just 20 years ago (see 2. above ). Consequently clothing is considered disposable today.
- About 75 million people are employed in the textiles, clothing and footwear sector worldwide. About three quarters of the garment workers are female.
- The current minimum wage in Bangladesh (second largest apparel manufacturer just behind China) covers about 60% of the cost of living in a slum.
- Artisanal, heritage craft industries have been eroded due to mass manufacturing and also as a result of second-hand clothes flooding local markets. In the 1950s, Italy was home to four million tailors. Today, this figure has plummeted to 700.000. A defining part of Italy’s artistic heritage risks extinction.
- One cotton shirt uses about 2,700 litres of water (cotton represents nearly half of the total fiber used to make clothing today).
- Around 17-20% of industrial water pollution comes from textile dyeing and treatment. An estimated 8000 synthetic chemicals are used throughout the world to turn raw materials into textiles.
- A single textile mill can produce from 5% up to 25% of pre-consumer textile waste on its total yearly production.
- Every 10 minutes a piece of clothing is discarded – throwing away resources, water, energy and labour. Every 10 minutes.
Sources: WWF, FashionUnited, Fashion Revolution, Greenpeace, Forbes, The Guardian, dW.com, The Atlantic, Truecostmovie.com, textilebeat.com