I’m a strong advocate of shopping less and owning fewer, high-quality clothing. It’s good for your wallet, it’s easier to organize everything, and there’s a psychological freedom to owning less stuff in general. The normally touted benefits of minimalism. Lots of people seek to build a capsule wardrobe or something similar for these reasons.
But with clothing, there’s even more pressing concerns to be conscientious with purchases. Garment production is a very resource-heavy and highly polluting industry that’s having significant impacts on water quality in many parts of the world. And it’s not just fast fashion–any garment production that occurs at an industrial scale is bound to contribute to toxic chemical dumping, carbon emissions, and solid waste from fabric left over after making the garment. This also includes many brands that tout themselves as eco-friendly.
So what exactly happens between raw materials arriving at a factory and a shirt being created? You might be surprised by just how long the supply chain can be, and how resource-intensive garment making really is.