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Can the use of animal products in fashion harm the environment in the same way that the meat industry does? And if so, what alternatives are out there?
It has become well known in recent years that the choice of whether, or how often, to eat animal products can have a huge impact on our environmental footprint.
But what of our choices about what we wear? Can the use of animal products in fashion harm the environment in the same way that the meat industry does? And if so, what alternatives are out there? With World Wildlife Day in mind, it’s well worth considering how animal rights in the fashion industry can be linked with broader environmental issues. So if you’re dreaming of a wardrobe that’s kind to both the planet and all of its inhabitants, read on.
What could be cosier and more comforting than a woollen sweater? Unfortunately, the facts about wool production’s impact on the environment are not so comforting.
One of the main issues with wool, similar to the problem that makes the production of livestock for food so damaging, is the large amount of methane that is produced by sheep being farmed. Methane is a strong greenhouse gas with what’s known as “global warming potential”. As well as the actual sheep, these emissions also come from waste and fertiliser on the farms. Industrial size livestock grazing can also increase land clearing and degradation
This doesn’t mean that you need to go without your snug winter staples. The first step may just involve being mindful of the wool products that you own by trying to make the items last, and buying second hand wherever possible. For more info, have a read of our article that looks at the ethics and sustainability of wool.