September Fashion Month: Fashion, Textile + Furniture Waste: Shopping Sustainable Matters– The Shop Denver

September Fashion Month: Fashion, Textile + Furniture Waste: Shopping Sustainable Matters– The Shop Denver

The sole reason I started this business was because I believe that you don’t have to sacrifice style to be sustainable.

The one thing the last few years did for me was provide incredible perspective. I was feeling like I had lost ALL control. Our worlds were turned upside down and I couldn’t find my footing. I had always dreamed of having my own store but was scared of all the things (failure, being vulnerable - you name it). Through all this craziness, and when I started doing my research on fast fashion and fast furniture, I realized that I couldn’t let my fears hold me back. I knew I would regret it if I never put myself out there and did everything I could to make a difference in our community. I realized I was the only one that had the power to control my fear and I was the only one that had the power to do something about it. 

Since the fashion and furniture industries are some of the world’s largest polluters, our goal at The Shop is to provide our customers with gorgeous, sustainable and stylish options for their home and wardrobe. We’ve compiled some facts below about fashion, textile, and furniture waste that stopped us in our tracks and made us realize that our choices matter.

WARNING: When you read the stats below don’t let it make you sad or feel helpless. Let it make you feel EMBOLDENED and POWERFUL. YOU truly have the ability to MAKE A DIFFERENCE. Speaking of, if you haven’t read Atomic Habits, you should, you will be reminded that 1 small act can compound into a bigger impact and bigger change. To me, it helped it feel less overwhelming. 

And if you have any additional thoughts or perspective, please share them with us at or follow us on IG @totheshopwego. 

We’re on a mission to evolve how we shop and style our lives– join us.

 And if you are Interested in learning more about how The Shop came to be? Check out our About Us blog. 

Fashion +Textile Industry Waste:

  • The Fashion industry is one of the biggest polluters in the world.
    • The fashion industry emits anywhere from 5-10% of the world’s carbon emissions. It is one of the more harmful industries due to how many aspects fashion touches.
      • If we use the 10% figure, that means that fashion produces more emissions than international travel and maritime shipping combined.
    • 25-30% of ocean microplastics come from the fashion industry.
    • Nearly 20% of all wastewater is produced by the fashion industry. It is estimated that in 2017 enough wastewater was produced by the fashion industry to fill 32 MILLION Olympic style swimming pools.
    • It takes 1,800 gallons of water to grow enough cotton for 1 pair of jeans. This does not include the dyeing process, or any other steps that include water. Some estimates have overall jean production taking 8,000 gallons of water to make 1 pair.
    • 17 million tons of textile waste went to landfills according to the EPA in 2018.
    • 84% of clothing in the US, often including donations, ends up in landfills or are incinerated.
      • Up to 95% of items that end up in landfills could be recycled or reworn!
    • As much as 12% of fibers are discarded on factory floors, 25% of fast fashion garments remain unsold and less than 1% are recycled.
    • The average American will create on average 80 pounds of textile waste every year.
    • It can be difficult to find real numbers of how many people work in the fashion industry because there are so many folks who are needed for each step of the process, regardless of whether or not they are directly involved in the fashion process. It is estimated that around 1 in 6 people work in the fashion industry.
    • Fashion can also be an incredibly exploitative industry. Most workers are paid well under a livable wage and it is estimated 85% of fashion workers are women. Many are working long days from 10-16 hours in dangerous conditions, sometimes being forced to provide their labor

Furniture Waste:

    • Over 9 million tons of furniture get thrown away each year in the US alone. Estimates put it at around 5% of all waste brought to landfills which is a sizable amount, especially considering how much food waste is produced in the US. Some of these estimates have placed furniture waste at over 12 millions tons.
    • It is estimated that of the furniture generated every year, 80% of that goes to landfills. 
    • Only 0.3% of furniture sent to landfills is recovered for recycling.
    • Similar to fast fashion, fast furniture is becoming more popular which makes it harder to recycle furniture since one piece can be made of many types of materials. 
    • Office furniture is one of the biggest perpetrators of this waste. Especially after the pandemic and many offices shifting, office furniture is making up a lot of furniture waste.
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