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I Calculated My Fashion Footprint With This Quiz And Was Shocked By How ‘Dirty’ My Buying Habits Are

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As fashion students, we are constantly taken behind the scenes to inspect each and every step that goes into making a single article of clothing. From the time you conceptualize it till it is taken to be stitched, dyed washed and dried, there are so many steps a single t-shirt has to go through. It truly is surprising as to how many resources go into producing even a single  handkerchief, especially if they are mass-produced. It was an education for me in the truest sense as I drastically changed my shopping habits and made it my mission to live a greener existence. I donate all my clothes, rely heavily on tailoring and have drastically cut down my trips to fast, fashion giants, Zara or H&M.

Yet, there are so many things I never considered to take into account and it turns out, I still have a long way to go to reduce the impact of my buying habits on the planet. An online quiz that calculates your fashion footprint spat out shocking results of how badly I have been behaving, especially for someone who is so informed of the specifics of fashion’s pollution. For instance, according to the quiz, my fashion footprint is equivalent to 6.4 flights from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Dear lord!

The quiz is available for everyone and comes from ThredUp, an online thrift store known for selling quality secondhand clothes in the US and Canada. While the concept of thrift shopping has largely remained un-evolved in India, we also fail to consider the effect of supporting habits like laundry and rental services, which are still very limited to wedding shopping. There has been a drastic shift in the fashion industry to make it more sustainable but that will all be in vain if the individual consumer doesn’t chip in.

This is where the quiz comes in. The detailed questions inform you of your faulty buying habits and how you can improve them. They also throw in stats about the polluting effect of our activities like, “New apparel production releases 4M tons of harmful carbon emissions annually, contributing more than 8% of global greenhouse emissions. The single best thing we can do for the planet is to consume less and reuse more.”

One of the main reasons why I fared so badly in the quiz was because of my laundry habits. My OCD of not being able to see dirty clothes lying around makes me do a load and every day and that is very bad for the environment. According to ThredUp, “75% of laundry’s total carbon impact comes from machine drying your clothes. Air drying is the most sustainable way to dry them. Another quick switch? Washing your clothes in cold water reduces your carbon impact by 10%.”.

ALSO READ: 5 Sustainable, Indian Fashion Brands That You Need To Support RN

An initiative launched by Emma ‘can’t comprehend that someone can be so perfect’ Watson, the exercise is an exciting look at how we want to make our existence greener and cleaner. Even if you think that you are already doing your bit for the environment, think again and evaluate by taking the quiz here. I am sure you will learn something new about yourself!

ALSO READ: Designers And Fashion Industry Insiders Tell You How To Be More Sustainable In 2020. Add It To Your Resolutions

Let’s make sustainability in fashion a priority in 2020!

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