Economic, Social and Environmental impacts of fast fashion Comments Off on Economic, Social and Environmental impacts of fast fashion 1966

  • $400 billion worth of clothing is wasted every year!
  • One garbage truck of clothes is burned or sent to landfill every second.
  • That’s enough to fill 1.5 Empire State buildings every day.
  • And it’s $400 billion of wasted clothing every year.
  • The average consumer bought 60% more cloths in 2014 than in 2000. But kept each item for half as long.
  • The world’s growing middle class is also driving consumption. And a 400% rise in world GDP by 2050 is only going to increase demand.
  • Making cloths uses a lot of the world’s resources. It takes 2,700 liters of water to make one cotton shirt. That’s what one person drinks in 2.5 years.
  • And making and washing one pair of jeans emits the same CO2 as driving 69 miles.
  • The fashion industry also has a heavy human cost… Garment workers in Bangladesh earn less than $100 per month. Just 30% of what they need to live a decent life.
  • There are initiatives to make our demand for clothing less damaging. Germany now reuses half of all used clothing.
  • Scientists are developing new materials that demand less from the environment.
  • And start-ups are encouraging consumers to rent, not buy clothes.

(Source: World Resources Institute)

Modeler : Sudhith Vidhush

How are you changing what you wear?

Think about how many sweaters, scarves and other clothes were given as gifts? How many times people wear them before throwing them out?

You will be surprised to hear probably far fewer than you think. One garbage truck of clothes is burned or sent to landfills every second!

Gone are the days when people would buy a shirt and wear it for years. In a world of accelerating demand for appeal, consumers want – and can increasingly afford – new clothing after wearing garments only a few times. Entire business models are built on the premise of “fast fashion,” providing cloths cheaply and quickly to consumer through shorter fashion cycles.

This linear fashion model of buying, wearing and quickly discarding clothes negatively impacts people and planet’s resources.

Here’s look at the economic, social and environmental implications:

The Economics

According to the Ellen MCArthur Foundation, clothing production has approximately doubled in the last 15 years, driven by a growing middle-class population across the globe and increased per capita sales in developed economies. An expected 400 percent increase in world GDP by 2050 will mean even greater demand for clothing.

This could be an opportunity to do better. One report found that addressing environmental and social problems created by the fashion industry would provide a $192 billion overall benefit to the global economy by 2030. The annual value of clothing discarded permanently is more than $400 billion.

It takes 2,700 liters of water to make one cotton shirt.

Enough water for one person to drink for 21/2 years.

The Environmental impacts

Apparel production is also resource and emissions-intensive. Consider that:

  • Making a pair of jeans produces as much greenhouse gases as driving a car more than 80 miles.
  • Discarding clothing made of non-biodegradable fabrics can sit in landfills for up to 200 years.
  • It takes 2,700 liters of water to make one cotton shirt, enough to meet the average person’s drinking needs for two-and-a-half years.

The Societal impacts

Clothing production has helped spur growth in developing economies, but a closer look reveals a number of social challenges.

For instance:

  • According to non-profit remake, 75 million people are making our cloths today, and 80% of apparel is made by young women between the ages of 18 and 24.
  • Garment workers, primarily women, in Bangladesh make about $96 per month. The government’s wage boards suggested that a garment worker needs 3.5 times that amount in order to live a “decent life with basic facilities.”
  • A 2018 U.S. Department of Labor report found evidence of forced and child labor in the fashion industry in Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Philippines, Turkey, Vietnam and other countries.
  • Rapid consumption of apparel and the need to deliver on short fashion cycles stresses production resources, often resulting in supply chains that put profits ahead of human welfare.

Designer: Nisansala Deegala
Model: Harini Silva

So, what do we do?

So, what does a more sustainable apparel industry look like, and how do we get there?

We’re starting to see some early signs of an industry in transition. Business models based on longevity, such as Rent the Runway and Gwynnie Bee, are the beginnings of an industry that supports reuse instead of rapid and irresponsible consumption.

Just as Netflix reimagined traditional film rental services and Lyft disrupted transportation, we are beginning to see option for consumers to lease clothing rather than buy and stash them in their closets. Ideally, an “end of ownership” in apparel will be implemented in a way that considers impacts of jobs, communities and the environment.

This is only the beginning of a radical transformation required. Apparel companies will increasingly have to confront the elephant in the boardroom and decouple their business growth from resource use. To meet tomorrow’s demand for clothing in innovative ways; companies will need to do what they have never done before: design, test and invest in business models that reuse cloths and minimize their useful life. For apparel companies, it’s time to disrupt or be disrupted.

By: Cameron Blake

Image Curtsey: Eranga Pilimatalawwe

Aquafresh – Water that is pure as nature intended it to be! 0 684

Aquafresh 01

Pure, natural, and hygienic drinking water bottled under the brand name Aquafresh by Access Natural Water (Pvt) Ltd. which extracts its supplies from deep ground water sources in a rain forest in the Labugamkanda mountains, like all modern health trends is gaining rapid popularity among people seeking a healthier addition to their lifestyles. The unique water with no added chemicals whatsoever contains all natural mineral balances and the bottling company relatively enjoys various standards from accredited authorities which have guided the company to uplift its quality of work.

Mr. Christopher Joshua | Managing Director, Access Natural Water (Pvt) Ltd.
Mr. Christopher Joshua | Managing Director, Access Natural Water (Pvt) Ltd.

BiZnomics met Access Natural Water (Pvt) Ltd. Managing Director Christopher Joshua who started.  “We launched our company in the year 2000 at a time marketing bottled water in Sri Lanka was unthinkable as it was freely available, and in addition there were a few bottled water manufacturers in operation as well”. The Access Group identifying the need for pure, good quality drinking water, in its quest found an aquifer – a layer of soil which retains water – the perfect source in fine deep springs in Labugamkanda in a geologically unique rain forest. The natural springs 200 feet below surface are protected by impermeable upper and lower confining layers, making the aquifer water pure as nature intended it to be.

Continued Managing Director Christopher Joshua, “We put up an environmental friendly factory and bottling plant in the location of the springs from where pure water is extracted, avoiding contamination through surface contact”. Yet in keeping with manufactory requirements to purify bottled water through a certified process before marketing, the company invested in a biological purification process adopting the four steps: aeration, slow sand filtering, micron filtering, and UV treatment which preserves the natural mineral balance at the aquifer.

The company was meticulous in selection of its stainless-steel machinery to ensure that rust and corrosion do not rise. The machines which are oil and grease free have been manufactured at optimum level on schedules in conformity to the company’s certifications and standards: SLS 894, ISO 9001, ITQI Brussels that specify requirements to consistently provided products and services that meet customer and regulatory requirements. The ISO 22000 certification and the Dutch HACCP encourage the organization to identify hazards which might occur in the food products process and to take stringent action to prevent same. Meanwhile the American FDA allows the company to sell water in the European market.

Aquafresh 03

Following the success of the 5 gallon polycarbonate dispenser bottle introduced to the market in 2001 the iconic range of PET bottles came on four years later. The 200 ml bottles in contrast to the 5 gallons are not re-filled. Washing of bottles before re-filling is a fully automated process with the adoption of high pressure nozzles, disinfectants, hot water, chlorine water and lastly drinking water. Managing Director Christopher Joshua says, “The unique design of the PET bottle, which is a first in

the country, revolutionized the bottle industry. Bottled water regulations require drinking water in transparent bottles. Tetrapack (paper) is not allowed although a few glass bottles are in use”. The bottling method for both PET and FG (five gallon) is fully automated and so is the labelling.

The client base of Aquafresh is over 5000 comprising both domestic consumers and corporates including the United Nations’ Organization office, Sri Lankan Airlines, Nestle, Kingsbury, Softlogic, and international chains such as Subway, Burger King, Coffee Bean, Gloria Jean’s Coffees and Bread Talk all which have opted for the superior quality, smooth and refreshing taste, exclusive packaging and the exceptional service that enhances its value – attributes that have garnered  Aquafresh Sri Lanka to be the undisputed leader in the local bottled water industry.

The company engages in advertising campaigns on cable TV, radio, newspapers and magazines. In addition, based on a consumer educative concept, its Lorries travel across the island, are branded. Monthly promotions on selected locations in the Western Province and social media campaigns of Facebook and Instagram are also carried out. This propaganda consistently communicates the quality standards, certification and accolades of Aquafresh water.

 

In a move to repay nature for her bounty of pure water, the staff of Access Natural Water (Pvt) Ltd has planted trees around the area, established herb gardens which are diligently maintained and cared for, in accordance with environmental laws and regulations. But their gratitude to nature goes far beyond that. Since the area of its bottling plant is of great importance in maintaining the forest surrounding, the company deeply cares for its environment and strives to do what is best for it always.

Aquafresh 05
On Left – Mr. Shanil Perera – Chief Operating Officer On Right – Mr. Gamini Kalubowila – General Manager

Aquafresh is the only Sri Lankan brand of alkaline drinking water in the market. Alkaline water in known to contain many health benefits with the key element being that it works against acidifies in the body, contributing towards prevention of illness and disease. Director/Chief Operating Officer Shanil Perera states: “The uniqueness of Aquafresh is many. We have invested in the mechanisms required to provide the nature’s gift of pure water to our customers. We live by our slogan and intention; ‘bringing nature to life’. The natural vital minerals in Aquafresh, iron, calcium carbonate, magnesium carbonate, sodium, potassium, sulphates, and silicon bring health benefits and goodness in every sip.

Seeking business ventures in uncertain times requires exertion of new super human strength of the organization’s director. Aquafresh of the Access Group of the companies has led a new course of sustainability while navigating changes in the now fast moving bottled water industry.

Demand is growing as a result with rising consumer confidence. Consumers see brands as a social status symbol; they want aspirational brands which create a window of opportunity for Aquafresh. All these factors make the market extremely attractive for the immediate future for Access Natural Water (Pvt) Ltd.

By: T.V. Perera
Photography By: Eranga Pilimatalawwe

‘’Work harder than you think you did yesterday’’ 0 265

Athula Seneviarathne
Athula Senevirathne Chairman, SDK United Agri Ventures (Pvt) Ltd.

By T.V.Perera

Appalled by the rise of undernourishment during the past one and a half decades reaching an alarming estimated 821 million people by mid last year, the World Congress on Food and Nutrition met in December in Dubai, and focused on ‘Discovering new advances on food and nutrition for global citizens’. Meanwhile in Sri Lanka, SDK United Agri Ventures (Pvt) Ltd with its registered office at Pagoda in Nugegoda and plantations in Anuradhapura and Monaragala, has introduced high nutritional value food in Soya, and a vegetable oil under the name ‘Omega’ to the consumer market at a very affordable price, fulfilling the nourishment needs of Sri Lankans. BiZnomics recently spent time with the Chairman of United Agri Ventures (Pvt) Ltd Athula Senevirathne, listening to his success story. Commencing by revealing that on completing his academic career, his aim was to be a KDU military officer but that circumstances led him in 1986 to join Unilevers where he quickly rose in position as overall in-charge of the company’s 200 acre prawn farm in Chilaw.

SDK United AgriDuring tha period Senavirathne started his own gherkin cultivation employing 28 and subsequently, procured the prawn farm when Unilevers closed it down which became a turning point in his life.
He ran the prawn farm quite successfully catering to many a tourist hotel and customers such as
Japanese Airlines until he reached the top with exports to Australia. Explaining how he ventured into agriculture,

he states: ‘’During one of my trips to Anuradhapura to buy fish feed, a leading politician apprised me of maize and soya bean cultivated, and told me that cultivators were hard hit for lack of buyers for their produce. I then thought that I could do something for them’’. With banks assuring him financial assistance, Senevirathne moved forward, having in mind government decision to halt maize imports.

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