5th June, World Environment day

5th June, World Environment day

Today, 5th June is World Environment day. An opportunity to take a good hard look at the precarious position we’ve put our planet in and to demand that we all do better. Koha Apparel has always operated with a dual purpose, clothing those in need AND diverting landfill. Every second, the equivalent of one garbage truck of textiles is land-filled or burnt, making up 7% of landfills globally.

Whilst repurposing and rehoming garments is necessary and worthwhile work, it’s a bottom of the cliff approach when it comes to tackling our incessant and unethical over consumption and overproduction of textiles. Donating is not a solution to over consumption, it is not a solution to unethical working conditions and it is not a solution to environmental injustice.  

Our environmental reality is dire, the fashion industry is currently responsible for 10 percent of humanity’s carbon emissions and is projected to reach 26 percent by 2050 if current trends persist. Fast fashion is sucking our natural resources dry and leaving those the least culpable to bear the burden. Water is treated like an infinite resource with each pair of jeans produced using 2000 gallons of water, the equivalent of 8 cups a day for the next ten years, while the vast majority of us indulge in a new pair almost as often as the seasons change.

The normalisation of a capitalist society and exponential growth has left too many of us ignorant to the devastating repercussions that lay ahead of us. We simply cannot afford to go on as we currently are if we intend to enjoy life on a thriving and sustainable planet.

The privilege and greed that fuels the fast fashion industry goes hand in hand with the backwards ideals that let the numbers in our homeless community grow. Environmental justice demands an appreciation for the value of life no matter who or what possesses it and we can’t have one without the other. If we can’t appreciate our neighbour than how can we even begin to fully appreciate our nature. Change requires a complete shift in perspective and it is absolutely imperative that we make it now because there will never be a better time.

Continue to support Koha Apparel and other initiatives that tackle unsustainable practices but remain critical of the systems that force these initiatives to exist in the first place. Aim to make these services redundant because the need no longer exists, campaign for a better world like your life depends on it, because frankly, it does.