3/31/2009 8:55:02 AM
Post-Bulletin, Rochester MN
• The manufacture of polyester and other synthetic fabrics for clothing is an energy-intensive process that requires large amounts of crude oil and releases many pollutants into the air and water.
• Growing cotton, one of the most popular fibers used in clothing manufacture, accounts for a quarter of all the pesticides used in the United States, according to the USDA.
• Apparel manufacturing in most countries offer low wages and poor conditions for workers. According to figures from the U.S. National Labor Committee, Chinese apparel workers make as little as 12-18 cents per hour working in poor conditions.
• According to the EPA Office of Solid Waste, Americans throw away more than 68 pounds of clothing and textiles per person per year.
• The Council for Textile Recycling estimates that 2.5 billion pounds of post-consumer textile waste is collected for reuse or recycling, but this represents only about 15 percent of the clothing that is discarded in the U.S. each year.
Source: "Waste Couture: Environmental Impact of the Clothing Industry" and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.
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