According to Fashion Takes Action (FTA), the apparel industry is ranked in the top 5 most polluting industries in the world, making it a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions which contribute to climate change (about 5% of the World's GHG emissions). While there used to be 2 cycles in fashion, there are now up to 50 micro-seasons. That means we are buying a lot and dumping it fast. Clothing waste is growing and taking up landfill space worldwide. Between 2000 and 2014, global fashion consumption grew by 60%; but consumers keep garments half as long. (FTA from World Resources Institute, citing The True Cost and Mckinsey and EcoSessions podcast quoting Nate Aden from the World Resources Institute )
Not only are textiles ending up in landfills, but the fibres from them (in plastic form and non-synthetic) are ending up in our freshwater in the millions, and getting into the aquatic food chain, and consequently ours. These fibres can contain pollutants through the manufacturing process and have the potential to absorb chemical pollutants from their surrounding environment (chemicals from laundering, or chemical contaminants that exist already in the water). Georgian Bay Forever (GBF) is working on testing a mitigation solution for capturing microfibres from washing machines on a wide scale in Parry Sound, but in the meantime, you can help by reducing your fashion purchasing.