Textile Waste: Yes, your individual actions make a difference

Hello there! Maybe you’re a Swapaholic fan or maybe you’re just doing some research about the environment. Maybe you’re just feeding yourself depressing information about the state of the world because the world seems like it’s falling apart and you let yourself spiral into the rabbit hole that is the Internet… I digress, but this is the perfect place for you!


If you’re interested in the topics of fast fashion and sustainability, I’m sure you have come across tons and tons of research reports about the textile waste that we generate nationally or globally. Like me, you probably feel really frustrated about the situation but don’t know how much of a difference you make as an individual consumer.


Well, let’s find out! I know you don’t want to do the math so I have done it for you:



Hello there! Maybe you’re a Swapaholic fan, maybe you’re doing some research about the environment, maybe you’re just feeding yourself depressing information about the state of the world because the world seems like it’s falling apart and you let yourself spiral into the rabbit hole that is the Internet… I digress, but this is the perfect place for you! If you’re interested in the topics of fast fashion and sustainability, I’m sure you have come across tons and tons of research reports about the textile waste that we generate nationally or globally, and like me, you probably feel really frustrated about the situation but don’t know how much of a difference you make as an individual consumer. It feels like you’re just one person, right? Well, let’s find out! 1.	Normal: Each Singaporean buys an average of 34 pieces of new clothing and discards 27 pieces every year. 1000 kg of textile waste is disposed every five minutes in Singapore. I know you don’t want to do the math so I have done it for you: a.	Each clothing item has a different weight (disclaimer) but for simplicity, we take average weight of one clothing item = 0.25kg b.	Making 1kg of fabric (cotton) generates an average of 23kg of greenhouse gases, and uses 10,000 litres of water. c.	Textile waste per person per year from discarding = 0.25kg * 27 = 6.75kg  in the past 10 years, you probably had thrown away your own body weight’s worth of clothes?!?! d.	Greenhouse gas per person per year from buying new items = 0.25kg * 34 * 23 = 195.5kg  yo this is crazy you’re literally releasing 3 times your body weight of cow farts into the atmosphere?!?! e.	Water usage per person per year from buying new items = 0.25 * 34 * 10,000 litres = 85,000 litres  this can hydrate 28,000 people every single day. 2.	Small change: If you extend the number of wears for each item to an average of 12 times instead, a.	An average piece of clothing is only worn 7 to 8 times before being thrown in the bins b.	Number of clothing items discarded per person per year = 27 * 8 / 12 = 18 c.	Textile waste per person per year from discarding = 0.25kg * 18 = 4.5kg  you have reduced one third of the waste you generate each year, but is it enough? d.	Number of new items bought = 34 / 27 * 18 = 23 (assuming the ratio remains the same) e.	Greenhouse gas per person per year from buying new items = 0.25 * 23 * 23 = 132.25kg  you have reduced one third of the greenhouse gases you generate each year too, but don’t you think you can do more? f.	Water usage per person per year from buying new items = 0.25 * 23 * 10,000 litres = 57,500 litres  you have reduced one third of the water you use each year, can more be done? 3.	Big change: If you use Swapaholic or any other swapping platforms for all the items you intended to discard, meaning you swap out 27 items and swap in 27 items you spotted and fell in love with: a.	Increasing the number of times clothing is worn = fewer number of clothing items discarded and new items bought b.	Number of clothing items discarded per person per year = 14 c.	Textile waste per person per year = 0.25kg * 14 = 3.5kg!  you effectively reduce almost half the waste you’re sending to the landfill! d.	Number of new items bought = 34 – 27 = 7 e.	Greenhouse gas per person per year from buying new items = 0.25 * 7 * 23kg = 40.3kg  you literally reduce 80% of cow farts you release into the atmosphere every year (0kg or 100% if you don’t purchase any new clothing items at all!) f.	Water usage per person per year from buying new items = 0.25 * 7 * 10,000 litres = 17,500 litres  you reduce 80% of water that you use (0 litres or 100% if you don’t purchase anything new!) These calculations haven’t even included the greenhouse gases emitted from transporting the clothes you buy from overseas. Imagine how much more you would have saved!  Hope you know you can 100% make a difference, start swapping with Swapaholic now!
Difference an individual consumer makes

These calculations haven’t even included the greenhouse gases emitted from transporting the clothes you buy from overseas. Imagine how much more you would have saved!


Hope you know you can 100% make a difference, start swapping with Swapaholic now!

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