This week marks the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, as well as Fashion Revolution Week. The current pandemic has created not only anxiety, but a significant eco-anxiety, where now more than ever, we are experiencing a mass awakening and the visceral realization to be conscious of our choices. Let's explore what lead up to today, and have some meaningful conversations about a more sustainable plan when returning to the "new normal" way of life.
How It All Started
According to earthday.org, Earth Day was a unified response to an environment in crisis - oil spills, smog, rivers so polluted they literally caught fire. On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans - 10% of the U.S. population at the time - took to the streets, college campuses and hundreds of cities to protest environmental ignorance and demand a new way forward for our planet. The first Earth Day is credited with launching the modern environmental movement, and is now recognized as the planet’s largest civic event.
In the morning of April 24, 2013, the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh collapsed, leaving only the ground floor intact. Just the day before, a local TV channel recorded footage that showed cracks in the building that was originally constructed for offices and shops and not for garment factories with heavy machinery, with the upper floors built without a permit. There were over 3,000 workers in the building that day, and 1,134 people - including children - died. Setting-up factories in cheap, buildings with questionable infrastructure is common in the garment industry, due to the demands of fast fashion with cheap labor costs and inexpensive facilities. Fashion Revolution was created to address this global issue, to educate consumers and encourage brands to do better.
This is why at KINDOM, we are conscious of all levels of our supply chain, making sure that the materials we use are sustainable, reducing pollution to the planet; while the factories we work with are ethical or compliant & certified, treating their workers fairly and paying fair wages. Watch the video to learn more:
Where We Are Today
Today, the fashion industry produces and sells somewhere between 80 billion and 150 billion garments a year globally, with a planet that has about 8 billion people. But according to the World Bank in late 2018, almost half the world's population - 3.4 billion people - live on less than $5.50 a day. So for intents and purposes, one can surmise that only about 4 billion people can then be able to consume the 80-150 billion garments annually, if that.
Today, textile-dyeing waste goes straight into rivers where people who live end up developing severe skin rashes and diseases because of the toxic chemicals that are washed into their only source of water. According to a report by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 20% of global industrial water pollution is from the fashion industry.
Today, people from third world countries do not have sufficient income to provide for their families and have to work in unsafe conditions just to make a couple of dollars per day to have food on their tables.
Today average American wastes around 82 pounds of clothing every year, which then end up in landfills.
It's time to seriously be conscious of our consumption.
What We Can Do
Over the 24 hours of Earth Day, the 50th anniversary of Earth Day will fill the digital landscape with global conversations, calls to action, performances, video teach-ins and more.
In addition, join our Founder, Claire Powers, as she chats with Sica Schmitz of Bead & Reel during the weekly livestream segment #ReelMindfulness on Tuesday, April 20 at 11:30 am PST, about sustainability, self-care, and of course, mindfulness. Please register here for free. Stay after the live webcast and be a part of Sica's weekly Reel Meditation for some spiritual, mental, and emotional centering.
On Saturday, April 25, during the Experts United Conference, hear speakers from all over the globe engaged in industries promoting sustainability on what we need to do to win the climate change impacts. The conversation this year is “Wearing the Spirit of Nature and Innovation", honoring the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day and the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations embracing sustainability and fashion. Please register here for free. The livestream webcast starts at 9:30 am PST.
To help the children in our communities affected and impacted by the COVID-19 situation, we are offering a 30% discount with the code 2GTHR30 until April 30th, and donating part of the proceeds to Save the Children in partnership with No Kid Hungry. Thank you for your continued support, we wish you good health!
Let's do what we can to reduce our carbon footprint, preserve, and protect our planet and humanity.
Marmag Creation, contributor