How does fashion impact biodiversity
The fashion industry has numerous negative environmental consequences, such as water and air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and waste accumulation. Surprisingly, the impact of fashion on biodiversity often goes unnoticed.
Fashion’s main “attack” on biodiversity is through the heavy use of chemicals. For example, the toxic substances found in wastewater from processing facilities critically impact rivers and marine life. Additionally, the extensive use of pesticides and insecticides in the cotton industry not only eliminates unwanted pests but also harms many species residing in the soil and the surroundings of cotton plantations.
Another reason for the fashion industry’s impact on biodiversity is the land use required for growing crops and trees used in garment production. In some cases, biodiverse forests are cut down to make these plantations possible.
How can more sustainable practices favor biodiversity?
Changes in chemical use: It is essential to significantly reduce the use of chemicals, replacing toxic substances with eco-friendly alternatives and ensuring that these chemicals do not find their way into nature through proper wastewater treatment.
Better sourcing: Choosing organic cotton over conventional options supports chemical reduction. Additionally, sourcing wood-based fibers like rayon, viscose, and modal from responsibly managed forests can help prevent deforestation and protect biodiversity.
Support for Conservation Organizations: Fashion companies can partner with or financially support conservation organizations dedicated to preserving biodiversity.
The interconnectedness of biodiversity and fashion stems from the significant impact that production choices can have on ecosystems and wildlife. By adopting eco-friendly practices, supporting conservation efforts, and raising awareness, the industry can contribute to preserving biodiversity while meeting the growing demand for sustainable and ethical fashion.
SANE Standard requirements enable brands to ensure their production processes protect biodiversity throughout their supply chain.