9 out of 10 people worldwide breathe polluted air. It causes 7 million premature deaths annually* and many of the pollutants also cause global warming.
Air pollution is preventable, yet contributes to illnesses including lung cancer, asthma, strokes, heart disease and dementia. Each one of us play a vital role in preventing air pollution and this year World Environment Day 2019 is issuing a call to action to combat this global crisis.
Here are the five main sources of air pollution1:
- Households (burning of fossil fuels to cook, heat and light homes)
- Industry (energy production being the leading source of air pollution)
How does Fashion play its part in Air Pollution?
Fashion accounts for 10% of the world’s carbon emissions.2 Every second, one garbage truck of textiles is landfilled or incinerated3, further contributing to air pollution and climate change. The current landscape of ‘Fast Fashion’ further accelerates the energy production needed to create collections faster to market to the detriment of air quality. You only need to take a walk outside to see the effects of mass consumption and production on our skies, seas and our environment.
We don’t believe in the fast fashion model. We believe in slowing fashion down, rescuing the resources that we already have with access to excess luxury fabrics and reusing these materials by upcycling them into beautiful new garments. By embracing circular fashion techniques, we avoid the need to create virgin materials which rapidly reduces our carbon footprint. For example, a typical The R Collective upcycled jacket has a 60% reduced carbon footprint, compared with a similar jacket created using virgin materials, according to estimates provided by RESET Carbon. Learn more about our story and how we’re making improvements in how fashion is designed, produced and worn to create positive social and environmental change.
Besides Circular Fashion, what else can we do?
Each one of us can make small changes in our daily routine to help reduce air pollution. For example:
- Cycle or walk to work and back.
- Save energy: turn off lights and electronics when not in use
- Switch to a hybrid or electric vehicle
- Reduce your consumption of meat and dairy to help cut methane emissions
- Compost organic food items and recycle non-organic trash
- Check efficiency ratings for home heating systems and cookstoves to choose models that save money and protect health.
- Never burn trash, as this contributes directly to air pollution.
In an effort to raise awareness around this issue, World Environment Day 2019 is asking you to share your pledge in the #WorldEnvironmentDay Mask Challenge May 24 - Jun 4. Head over to our Instagram to see our Founder & CEO Christina Dean taking part in the Mask Challenge, sharing her pledge to #BeatAirPollution. Tell us how you will play your part to #BeatAirPollution together!
1 *UN Environment.
2 United Nations Climate Change.
3 Ellen Macarthur Foundation (2017), A New Textiles Economy: Redesigning Fashion's Future.