The global denim industry is a dirty business.
It needs to be cleaned up.
Along with the social impacts, which include low wages (below fair living level), forced and child labour, gender inequalities and deficient working conditions — the environmental impacts of the denim industry are huge.
Depending on which report you read, it’s estimated it takes between 3,000—7,000 litres of water to grow the cotton and manufacture a typical pair of jeans, as well as large amounts of pesticides, fertilisers, chemicals and energy.
Multiply that by the 2 billion or so pairs of jeans produced globally each year, and you get an idea of the astounding environmental impact of the denim industry.
And of course, the vast majority of those jeans quite soon become part of the 15 billion tonnes of clothing waste which go to landfill and incineration each year.
To make matters worse, most denim production is centred in countries where water and energy scarcity is at its greatest.
This linear ‘take-make-waste’ model is destroying natural habitats, workers’ health and our home planet.
We really can’t go on this way.