World Environment Day: Fashion is the dirtiest polluter

Yesterday was World Environment Day – a day United Nations wants us all to reflect on ours and others’ evil doings towards the environment.

Putting the message across from Un , Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says, “I urge people and governments everywhere to overcome indifference, combat greed and act to preserve our natural heritage for the benefit of this and future generations.”

World Environment Day 2016: What is fashion's role? (NOAH SEELAM/Getty Image)
World Environment Day 2016: What is fashion’s role?
Today is World Environment Day – a day United Nations wants us all to reflect on ours and others’ evil doings towards the environment.

Putting the message across from Un , Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says, “I urge people and governments everywhere to overcome indifference, combat greed and act to preserve our natural heritage for the benefit of this and future generations.”

This year, like every gone-by years, has a theme: Zero tolerance for the illegal trade in wildlife. Wildlife here is not restricted to animals only, it includes everything grown in the wild including plants, fungi, deserts etc. While we’re all aware how illegal activities “erode the precious biodiversity and threatens the survival of elephants, rhinos and tigers, as well as many other species,” it is to be noted that such activities also “undermines our economies, communities and security.”

It isn’t about protecting the animals and the biodiversity alone, but “preventing and inspiring people to prevent the growing strain on planet Earth’s natural systems from reaching the breaking point”. Which in the long run will benefit generations after generation. The 2016 theme highlights the fight against the illegal trade in wildlife. Its slogan “Go Wild for Life” is aimed at encouraging you to spread the word about wildlife crime and the damage it does, and to challenge all those around you to do what they can to prevent it.

So, what exactly can the fashion community do for the environment. While the first thing that comes to mind, when talking about this year’s theme is fur and the fabrics made from animal skin, but we’d rather concentrate more on the eco-friendly clothing materials. We relate more to cottons and textiles than fur in our everyday life, hence we decided to start the conversation and ask the fashion community questions that need answers to make World Environment Day worthwhile.

“The true cost of a garment lies not in the price tag, but in the impact the production has had on the environment,” says Shani Himanshu and Mia Morikawa of 11.11/eleven eleven. In this age of consumerism, seldom you find someone who inspires you to challenge your take on luxury and lifestyle by bringing in responsibiliy to the forefront. “Fashion has the ability to transform people’s attitudes and consumer patterns. The concrete linear quality of how pieces are made, the supply chain and energy involved can open up conversations about how to live in harmony with our planet.”

Image: (NOAH SEELAM/Getty Image)
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