10 facts about clothing and the production of it

  1. 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).
  2. Worldwide, around 80 billion garments are produced per year. This is 400% more than only two decades ago.
  3. 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.
  4. About 75 million people are employed in the textiles, clothing and footwear sector worldwide. About three quarters of the garment workers are female.
  5. The current minimum wage in Bangladesh (second largest apparel manufacturer just behind China) covers about 60% of the cost of living in a slum.
  6. 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.
  7. One cotton shirt uses about 2,700 litres of water (cotton represents nearly half of the total fiber used to make clothing today).
  8. 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.
  9. A single textile mill can produce from 5% up to 25% of pre-consumer textile waste on its total yearly production.
  10. 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

Credits: Unsplash