J&O Fabrics Celebrates Earth Day Throughout April.


jandofabrics earth day

April 22 2018  marks the 48th birthday of  Earth Day, an annual cause celebrated worldwide where various events are held to demonstrate support for environmental protection. Numerous communities also celebrate Earth Week, an entire week of activities focused on the environmental issues that the world faces as a whole. In recognition of a cause that affects us all, J&O fabrics will be dedicating our April blogs to sustainability and go-green efforts within the textile industry in an attempt to raise awareness, create conversation, and inspire us to each play our part.

As seamstresses, quilters, DIY junkies, artists, visionaries, tailors, and rescuers of both furniture and textile goods overall, our upcoming articals will hopefully feed a flame already ignited. For those who have not yet found the value in Earth Day initiatives like  re-purposing, recycling, reupholstering and creating from scratch, we hope our information and suggestions will challenge you to take a Go-Green step in some way.

To kick off our series, we thought sharing some basic fast facts would be a good place to start. As one of the leading industries contributing to our landfills over the years, the manufacturing of fabric textiles has had a toxic impact not only on the planet, but on those involved in the process along the way. From poisonous dye runoffs affecting drinking waterways and green house gases, to the use of child labor sweat shops outsourced by large fashion labels, no part is too big or too small to play in our Earth Day inspired efforts to reduce the carbon footprint and make a change.

 

Earth Day Textile Waste Fast FAQ’s

  • Every year, more than 80 billion articles of clothing are produced and sold around the world with the average person buying 60 percent more yet keeping them for about half as long as 15 years ago. That means that every year, billions of used articles of clothing are thrown away to make room for the new ones.  If the average life of clothing was extended by just three months, it would reduce by five to ten percent their carbon and water footprints, as well as waste generation.
  • The average American throws out about 82 pounds of textile waste per year. That’s 11 million tons of waste produced every year by just the United States alone. These fabrics are likely to then end up in landfills, where they pile up to produce toxic greenhouse gasses that are emitted into the atmosphere. As a leading cause of global warming, these gases are very dangerous for our environment and hazardous our health.
  • It takes 700 gallons of water to make a cotton shirt. To put these numbers in perspective, the amount of water needed to make a t-shirt is enough for one person to stay hydrated for 900 days while the amount of water needed to make a pair of jeans is equivalent to hosing down your lawn for 9 hours straight.
  • Clothes can take up to 40 years to decompose.  In addition to releasing gases like methane, most fabrics are made with dyes and chemicals that can contaminate the soil and water in the ground.
  •  95% of textiles can be recycled. Five years ago the US Environmental Protection Agency estimated that 2.3 million tons of textiles were recycled, thus avoiding disposal. They claimed the environmental impact of this number was the same as taking 1.2 million cars off the road.
  • Consumers are regarded as the main culprit for throwing away their used clothing as only 15 percent of consumer used clothing is recycled where more than 75 percent of pre-use clothing is recycled by the manufacturers.
  • The average lifetime of a cloth is approximately 3 years. Shortly after normal wear and laundering will cause fibers to weaken,  dyes to fade, and their constitution to become compromised.
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