Ader discusses environmental impact of fashion in podcast
The textile industry consumed some 79 billion cubic meters of water in 2015, Ader noted. In developing countries, chemicals and dyes used to manufacture clothes get regularly released unfiltered into natural waters, polluting the environment and ruining the quality of life of those living nearby, he said.
The industry is currently responsible for 20 percent of water pollution worldwide, the president said.
In the past years, the amount of clothes bought per person in Europe has jumped by 40 percent, Ader said. Some 30 percent of them are worn only once, and a mere 1 percent is getting recycled, he added.
Mengyan said the United Kingdom remained the largest consumer of fashion in the EU, but peer pressure among younger people made it necessary to address alternative approaches to shopping more often in the public.
Pollution can be mitigated by fewer washes and a sparing use of detergents, she said.
On a larger scale, developing technologies to filter microplastics from the water in washing machines would greatly reduce pollution, Mengyan said.
Besides scientific solutions, environmentally conscious consumers and online influencers could push the fashion industry to move towards sustainability, which the government could also force or promote with regulations or incentives, Ader said.