“There is a joke in China that says you can predict the ‘it colour’ of the season, by looking at the colour of the river.”
If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that today I found out that it takes 2720 litres of water to make a t-shirt, which is how much water we normally drink over a three year period. Of course, this takes into place the process from growing cotton, the whole way through to the dying and manufacturing stage – but isn’t it crazy to think that the clothing we wear can use up so much clean drinking water when that in itself is becoming quite the scarce resource?
I initially thought that there was plenty of water to go round, especially growing up in New Zealand where the beach is thirty minutes from my house, and we have our own private spring for clean water on our property. Turns out that 97% of the water on the planet in salty, leaving the remaining 3% split across snow, ice and accessible water. That accessible part however only equates to 1% overall, and of that 1%, 70% is used for agriculture.
While there are initiatives such as Better Cotton in place to have big retailers and manufacturers (as well as small) using less water in their production process, Riverblue focuses on the environmental and human health costs of dying mass produced garments to fuel the world’s fast fashion addiction.
In a world where every single thing you buy comes at a cost, it’s becoming more and more important to know not only where your clothes are made, but the impact it is having on the environment. Commercial dyes used in most of the clothes we wear contain hazardous materials such as mercury and lead which don’t break down, and instead poison our waterways.
Riverblue is a documentary that uncovers the effects fast fashion has on our environment. I couldn’t be more excited that this documentary on such an important issue is finally hitting the screens.
While I wait for this to be released online you can watch the trailer here: