“Apparel-related wastewater discharge is roughly 2.5 billion tons per year, of which, dyeing and finishing (printing or bleaching fabric before it is cut and sewn) account for 80%,” Kate Black (Magnifico). A study done by Greenpeace in China discovered that wastewater discharge contained a plethora of chemicals and acids which are known hormone and endocrine disrupters, caused by the dyeing and finishing of fabrics.

According to The Guardian, “The chemicals left in water limit the ability to recycle it, but Levi’s recently worked with one of its Chinese suppliers to make 100,000 pairs of jeans using 100% recycled water, so it can be done.”

What can we do as consumers? Choose organic cotton or an alternative fiber such as hemp or linen (cotton uses the most water out of any fiber out there, so anything else is already a better choice)! Remember, conventional cotton consumes much more water due to pesticide usage and genetically modified seeds, yet accounts for 99% of the cotton products on the market. Consumers have the power to change this by demanding organic or alternative fibers through purchase power. Let’s save our water resources while we can.

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