Reducing your fashion footprint: tips to help save the world 又酷又環保:穿衣撇步報你知

Tue, Sep 10, 2019 - Page 14

Under the guidance of French president Emmanuel Macron at the recent G7 summit in Biarritz, 32 fashion companies signed a “fashion pact” to emphasize sustainability in the industry. They included some of the largest luxury brands in the market — Chanel, Ralph Lauren and Prada — as well as “fast fashion” producers, including H&M Group and Zara.

According to a UN study, the fashion industry is responsible for about 10 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions and 20 percent of all waste water and consumes more energy than the airline and shipping industries combined.

The figures are disputed but the message is clear: fashion is a major polluter, and in an industry that depends on human desire for the new, questions hang over it like a dead weight.

Fast fashion is a phrase coined to describe inexpensive clothing produced rapidly by mass-market retailers in response to the latest trends. Critics say that the industry has a large carbon footprint, and creates water and air pollution. Clothes are often manufactured in poor working conditions.

Garments are manufactured cheaply, and are expected to have a short life. One in three young women, the biggest segment of consumers, consider garments worn once or twice to be old. In the UK alone, consumers sent 300,000 metric tonnes of textiles to be burned or dumped in landfill in 2018.

Without rapid reform, the fashion industry — of which fast fashion is the dominant player — could be responsible for a quarter of the Earth’s carbon budget by 2050.

Things you can do to reduce your fashion footprint:

■ Commit to wearing every piece 30 times. If we doubled the amount of time we kept clothes for, we would cut our fashion emissions by 44 percent.

■ Get smart about fibers. Cheap cotton and synthetics come with huge environmental footprints. Cotton uses unsustainable amounts of water and pesticide. Go for hemp blended with organic cotton and silk and lyocel/modal.

■ Treat cotton as a luxury fiber. Buy products certified as organic to be free of the pesticide burden and plan to keep them for years.

■ Wash clothes less often. The average laundry cycle releases hundreds of thousands of tiny fragments of plastic from synthetic fibers into waterways. Put jeans in the freezer and remove dirt when frozen. Fleeces have been shown to release the most plastic fibers.

■ Use a clothes and accessories rental service.

■ Delete shopping apps from your phone and swear off insta-shopping for fashion. Go shopping for clothes in a shop. Feel the fiber, interrogate the structure — especially the seams — and make sure it fits.

■ If dry cleaning is a must, use an eco-friendly process: conventional dry cleaning harms the soil, air and water.

(The Guardian with staff writer)

在法國總統艾曼紐‧馬克宏的倡議下,三十二家時裝公司最近在比亞里茲舉行的G7峰會簽署了一項「時尚協議」,以強調時裝業永續發展的重要性。這些公司包括市面上最大的幾個奢侈品牌──香奈兒(Chanel)、拉夫勞倫(Ralph Lauren)和普拉達(Prada)──以及「快時尚」製造商,包括H&M集團和Zara。

根據聯合國一項研究,時裝業所排放的溫室氣體佔總量的百分之十、廢水佔百分之二十,所消耗的能源比航空公司及航運業的總和還多。

雖然這些數字有所爭議,但訊息很明確:時尚是大宗污染源。時尚是依賴人類對新事物之慾望而生存的產業,這些汙染問題對時尚業來說都是不能承受之重。

「快時尚」(fast fashion)一詞,是指大眾市場零售商為反映最新流行趨勢而快速生產的廉價服裝。批評者指出,快時尚產業的碳足跡量很大,並汙染了水和空氣,且製造這些衣服的工作環境通常很惡劣。

這些服裝的製造成本低廉、預期使用壽命短。快時尚的最大消費族群為年輕女性,而有三分之一的年輕女性認為,衣服穿過一兩次便算是舊衣了。二○一八年,光是在英國,消費者就丟棄了三十萬噸紡織品,這些衣物最後都被送進焚化爐或掩埋場。

若不趕快進行改革,到了二○五○年,時尚產業──其中「快時尚」佔主要部分──所造成的碳排放,將佔地球總碳排放量的四分之一。

我們每個人也可從自身做起,降低我們衣著習慣所造成的碳足跡:

■ 每件衣服都要穿過三十次。若我們把衣服留在身邊的時間拉長一倍,將會減少百分之四十四的服裝碳排放量。

■ 聰明選擇服裝質料纖維。廉價的棉及合成纖維對環境造成的傷害極大。棉花的種植使用大量的水和殺蟲劑,不利環境永續發展。應選擇混合有機棉的麻纖維、蠶絲,以及lyocel或modal天然纖維。

■ 將棉視為高級纖維。購買有機認證的棉製品──有機棉不施農藥、不造成環境負擔──並打算穿它好幾年。

■ 別太常洗衣服。一般洗衣行程會讓合成纖維釋出成千上萬個微小塑膠碎片,然後排到水道中。把牛仔褲放進冰箱冷凍庫,在冷凍狀態下去除污垢。已發現抓毛絨(fleece)所釋出的塑膠纖維最多。

■ 服裝及配件用租的,可利用市面上的租借商家。

■ 刪除手機裡的購物應用程式,並發誓戒除在Instagram網購衣服的習慣。若要治裝,到店裡去買。去實際感受衣服的質料纖維和做工──特別是接縫的部份──並確保衣服穿起來合身。

■ 如果衣服必須乾洗,請使用環保工序,因為傳統的乾洗會汙染土壤、空氣和水。

(台北時報林俐凱編譯)

FOLLOW UP

讀後練習

Questions

1. What is “fast fashion?” Have you been to any fast fashion stores? What are the plus points of those stores and their products?

2. What are the disadvantages of “fast fashion?”

3. How long do you typically keep your clothes for?

4. What action has the international community taken to tackle the environmental impact of the fashion industry?

5. What changes can we make in our daily lives to reduce the carbon footprint of our clothing?

(Lin Lee-kai, Taipei Times)