26 Sustainable Fashion Facts & Statistics [2024]

The fashion industry is the 3rd most polluting industry in the world.

A large amount of waste happens at both the production stage, as our clothes are made, and the consumer stage, as we throw away or overly wash our clothes.

Dive into this sustainable fashion stats list to learn more about how and why eco-friendly fashion is so important.

Sustainable fashion facts graphic on green background
  • As much as 20% to 35% of all primary source microplastics in the marine environment are from synthetic clothing, according to academic estimates.
  • Around 7,000 liters of water are used in the making of a pair of jeans.
  • 59 major textile, apparel, and retailers – including Adidas, Dibella, Eileen Fisher, Gap Inc., H&M, Lindex, MetaWear, Target, and Timberland— aim to increase their use of Recycled Polyester (rPET) by at least 25% by 2020.
  • A polyester shirt has more than double the carbon footprint of a cotton shirt (5.5 kg CO2e vs. 2.1 kg CO2e).
Sustainable fashion facts
  • The fashion industry is projected to use 35% more land for fibre production by 2030—an extra 115 million hectares that could be left for biodiversity or used to grow crops to feed an expanding population.
Sustainable fashion facts and stats denim jeans water usage
  • Textile production is a major contributor to climate change. It produces an estimated 1.2 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent (CO2e) per year – more than international flights and maritime shipping combined.
  • Cotton farming is responsible for 24 per cent of insecticides and 11 per cent of pesticides despite using only 3 per cent of the world’s arable land (source).

  • Worldwide clothing utilization has dropped by 36% compared to how much we used our clothes 15 years ago.
  • Extending the life of clothing by an extra nine months could reduce carbon, waste and water footprints by around 20–30% each.
  • Approximately 1,130,000 tonnes of clothing were purchased in the UK in 2016, an increase of almost 200,000 tonnes since 2012.
  • 3 out of 5 new items of clothing are thrown away and incinerated within one year of purchase.
  • Sales share of sustainable clothing is rising and the market share is set to reach over six percent by 2026
Sustainable fashion facts how many people recycle their clothes

At both the production and consumer stage, there are huge improvements that can be made that will help create a more sustainable and ethical fashion industry.

I hope these eco-fashion facts help show you some of the things you can change, and reasons to advocate for and purchase from sustainable fashion brands. If you’re looking to for brands to avoid, instead discover the best affordable sustainable clothing brands here.

We also collected a complete list of the best TED Talks on Sustainable Fashion currently out there, which is a great resource to learn more.

If you have any interesting facts that we should include here, leave a comment below.

The Ecothes Team
The Ecothes Team

Hi, we're the team behind Ecothes. We started this platform to help share the sustainable brands we discover, making products from clothing, to homeware, to sneakers.

Learn more about our team on our About page: https://ecothes.com/about

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