How much water it takes to make a pair of blue jeans?
It takes an incredible amount of water (up to 10, 000L / 2600 gallons) to produce a single pair of blue jeans.
That includes growing the cotton and the manufacturing, but it doesn’t include the water that you’ll use to wash your jeans over time.
One third of the 10,000 liters needed to make a pair of jeans is used to grow the plants (e.g. cotton). The rest is used to produce the fabric.
What are blue jeans made of?
Most blue jeans are made of cotton. The jeans are prepared, washed and bleached. They receive many treatments. All these steps require hundreds of liters of water.
Blue jeans are not the only clothes that have such an impact. The entire textile industry is the second largest polluter of clean water globally, after agriculture. And cotton is not the only problem. Polyester is the most popular fabric used for fashion. It is synthetic, and is made from plastic fibers. But when washed in domestic washing machines, polyester clothes shed microfibres that end up in our oceans.
But these are not the only problems
Pesticides and fertilizers used to make the plants grow quickly pollute the soils and the long journeys (by boat or plane) between the countries where the crops are harvested and those where the manufacturing takes place, located in Africa and Asia, produce a lot of CO2.
What can we do?
Fast fashion encourages people to buy more and more, and produces 92 million tons of solid waste dumped in landfills each year.
Slow down! Choose better quality clothes, keep them longer, mend them when needed, and recycle or upcycle them. Visit second hand shops first and have a look at their collection: it is easy to find cool stuff, often cheaper!
Think about reusing! Ask your parents or grandparents if they have clothes they don’t wear anymore, you might be surprised ;).
If not, think about thrift stores, second hand.
If you really want to buy new we recommend materials like linen or nettle which consume less water than cotton. However it will be more expensive than cotton.
Source : Vogue.