World Water Day is an important day of awareness, alerting us to just how much we take it for granted. There needs to be a shift in perspective on how it’s used, especially in the fashion industry.
We drink it, bathe in it, cook with it and many of us pray with it. Water is ubiquitous throughout our lives, yet we give little thought to its importance. World Water Day is held on the 22nd of March every year and focuses on the importance of one of our planet’s most valuable assets.
“Environmental damage, together with climate change, is driving the water-related crises we see around the world. Floods, drought and water pollution are all made worse by degraded vegetation, soil, rivers and lakes.”
Agriculture currently accounts for 70% of global water withdrawals, mostly for irrigation – a figure which rises in areas of high water stress and population density. Did you know the proportion used for drinking water is much less than 1%?
Producing cotton clothing is very water intensive. At Hara we know the devastating effects of cotton production; producing 1kg of cotton consumes 20,000 litres of water. In other words, the 20,000 litres of water cannot be used for anything else because it has either evaporated or is too contaminated for reuse.
And on a global scale this has dire consequences:
“Despite only occupying 2.4% of the world’s cropland, cotton accounts for 24% of the world’s insecticide use and 11% of pesticides. Toxic chemicals washing into waterways and entering the ecosystems, is becoming a major source of pollution, especially in developing countries”
• By 2050, the world’s population there will be more than 9 billion and global water demand could be up to 30% higher than it is today.
These statistics are eye opening. We’re slowly waking up to the impacts, but unfortunately the fashion industry has been a highly destructive one. Luckily times are changing and we are starting to see real positive change; Hara strives to be at the forefront of this movement and promote ethical fashion.
All of our undies are made from bamboo - a much less water-intensive plant.
Why do we use bamboo?
No pesticides, insecticides or fertilisers are used in the growing
Uses only rainwater to grow compared to cotton which uses up to 2700 litres of water for a single T-shirt
Grows in dense areas, doesn't need vast amounts of land
Produces 30% more oxygen & absorbs more carbon dioxide than trees
Grows up to a metre a day with some species growing up to 30m tall
New stems can be harvested again and again making bamboo one of the most sustainable raw materials in the world
Making a splash on World Water Day is one way to help change our perspective and get people involved. The official UN website has many helpful materials to spread the message, or go one better and hold an event in your local community.