Freshwater Scarcity and the Fashion Industry

Investigating the inefficient use of resources for water-intensive fabrics, while investigating the ways in which fashion can tackle this problem now and in the future.

The objective of this case study is to demonstrate that freshwater crises around the globe are going to influence the development of freshwater-free natural textiles in the future, as current production of widespread natural fabrics like cotton is considered unsustainable from a resource-conservation point of view. This topic is relevant from a social, political and ethical point of view because access to clean water is considered to be a basic human right (UN) and in some regions where cotton is heavily cultivated, contaminated water sources are causing health issues to those unable to obtain clean drinking water. As more and more brands and designers strive to embed sustainable principles in their designs and collections, technology-based companies are turning to innovative solution like algae-based fabrics and waterless finishing to embrace the idea of water conservation.

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