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FOR ZERO WASTE
Producing digital fashion vs physical fashion eliminates material waste altogether.

Digital Fashion means no excess inventory at the end of the season that must be discounted, donated or destroyed. It helps to cease the endless cycle and lasting impacts of overproduction faced by physical fashion.

Clothing production has roughly doubled since 2000. The manufacturing and production of such items consume high levels of fossil fuels and precious natural resources. For example, oil-based polyester is the most commonly used fabric globally, with nearly 60 million tonnes produced in 2019. In total, up to 85% of textiles go into landfills each year. A polyester shirt can take anywhere from 20-200 years to decompose.
In total, up to 85% of textiles go into ever-growing landfills around the globe each year. While some landfills are efficient, modern, and advanced, others are unsanitary and are severe environmental and human health hazards. This issue is generally faced by less wealthy countries that are home to vibrant communities that face economic disadvantages.

According to The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, approximately 40 million tonnes of textile waste per annum is sent to landfills or incinerated. The equivalent of one garbage truck full of clothes is burned or dumped in a landfill every second. That’s enough to fill the Sydney Harbour annually.
FOR ZERO IMPACT

Producing one digital product vs one physical product reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 97%.

Digital fashion eliminates the need for physical transport of fashion collections and shipping altogether, resulting in carbon savings.

The fashion industry is currently responsible for 10% of annual global carbon emissions - more than all international flight and maritime shipping emissions combined. If we don’t disrupt the fashion orthodoxy, by 2050, the fashion industry will be responsible for one-quarter of the world’s carbon budget.
FOR SAVING WATER
Producing one digital product vs one physical product is done using 3,300 fewer liters of water.

The fashion industry is the second-largest consumer of water worldwide. It uses 93 billion cubic meters of water annually - enough to meet the consumption needs of 5 million people.

Cotton is a highly water-intensive plant and the most water-thirsty fiber in the textile industry.

In Uzbekistan, cotton farming used up so much water from the Aral Sea that it dried up after about 50 years. Once one of the world’s four largest lakes, the Aral Sea is now little more than desert and a few small ponds.
FOR RIVERS AND OCEANS
We love water. We drink it, swim in it. We are aspiring mermaids. So at Special Items, we keep it clean.

Digital Fashion items do not need to be dyed, washed or made in a factory. This means no fabric dye run-off, microplastics, or polluting of our precious water systems.
It takes about 700 gallons of water to produce one cotton shirt. (One person’s drinking water for 3.5 years)
It takes about 2,000 gallons of water to produce a pair of jeans. (One person’s drinking water for 10 years)
SPOTLIGHT ON FABRIC DYEING
The fashion industry is also responsible for 20% of all industrial water pollution worldwide.(The Ellen McArthur Foundation) The majority of the water used during the production of garments is for the dyeing process.Most clothing is dyed synthetically which has detrimental effects on our natural environment.

The Yangtze River, which runs throughout China, is one of the hundreds of water sources heavily polluted by the fashion industry. "There is a joke in China that you can tell the 'it' color of the season by looking at the color of the rivers." - Orsola de Castro, Founder of fashionrevolution.org.(Webber)

Billions of tonnes of wastewater containing chemical dyes are flushed into water sources. Highly toxic chemicals do not break down as they enter water streams and make their way through water systems globally. While we get a wild and wonderful kaleidoscope of colors to wear, the world's water systems are poisoned. Chemicals and mordants dissolve water oxygen to levels that are unable to sustain the lives of aquatic animals.

As China continues to develop at a rapid rate, and without environmental protection laws being put into place, many citizens around the country are starting to feel the serious effects of this industrialization. There are over 400 small pockets of villages near factories or along the Yangtze River that have earned the new moniker of "Cancer Villages". (White)

Over 70% of water sources in China are heavily contaminated, which results in an estimated 1.4 billion people being unable to access clean water. What's infuriating is that the water is mainly flushed through untraceable pipes meaning no individual brand or retailer can be held accountable.
Washing clothes releases 500,000 tons of microfibers into the ocean each year — the equivalent of 50 billion plastic bottles. Microplastics - very small pieces of plastic that never biodegrade - are estimated to account for 31% of the ocean's plastic pollution. Approximately 35% of these microplastics came from laundering synthetic textiles like polyester, which do not break down in the sea.

Microfibers cannot be extracted from the water and spread throughout our food chain, affecting humans and animals. Plastic pollution is pushing some species to the brink of extinction. Already 88% of marine species studied have been negatively impacted by plastic pollution, and it is estimated that up to 90% of seabirds and 52% of sea turtles ingest plastic.