Why Cotton is killing the planet and how we can stop it!


  • It takes 30 bathtubs of water to create ONE single t-shirt (2700L).

  • 16,000 gallons of water is used per year per house on washing clothes.

  • 4.5Million people work in sweatshops worldwide creating t-shirts alone.

  • Clothing production accounts for 10% of global carbon emissions.

  • Fashion is the 2nd largest polluter after oil.

  • 70% of clothes dyes contain led + mercury.

  • Garment production is up 400% between 1994-2014.

  • 80 Billion garments are produced per year.

  • organic cotton makes up less than 1% of 22,700,000 metric tons produced worldwide.

  • The average garment worker is paid $68 per month.


Now that you know the facts this is how it works:

  1. Farmers grow and harvest cotton in fields using a huge amount of water and pesticides.

  2. The cotton is then shipped where is it blended, carded, combed, pulled, stretched and twisted into slivers.

  3. It is then shipped to mills where it is made into sheets and is bleached and dyed.

  4. It is then shipped to be manufactuered in workhouses and sweatshops where shaped are made out of the fabric into designs desired by the wholesaler/supplier or in some cases the retailer.

  5. The apparel is then shipped worldwide to distribution centres and warehouses where they are then sorted and shipped into retail stores in developed countries.

  6. The produce is then purchased in the fast fashion sector and can be sold cheap and used very little before the product is discarded by the customer.


  • Use old clothes as cleaning rags.

  • Swap old clothes with friends.

  • Sell clothes second hand at markets or online (Depop or eBay).

  • Change our attitude to clothes and when we buy a product view it as an investment and not a temporary item.

  • Shop 100% organic cotton.

  • Give to charity stores/homeless/ low income families.

  • Stop using dryers and hang our clothes outside.

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