Fashion industry contributes to climate change too | Letter

Dear Editor,

I am currently in 11th grade at a small high school in the San Juan Islands and I am writing regarding the destruction caused by the fashion/textile industry today.

The fashion industry alone is responsible for roughly 10% of global carbon emissions and this number is only going to increase as population and demand does as well (World Bank, 2024). Around two-thirds of these emissions come from the production of non-natural fibers such as polyester and nylon.

Most people are familiar with the phrase “Farm to Table.” This movement has gained traction over the last many years and now I urge you to consider “Farm to Clothing.” Domestically made fiber products that are grown on small farms in the US that implement practices that can actually sequester carbon rather than emitting it could change this billion-dollar industry into one that actually helps our planet, not hurts it.

Imperial Yarn is an example of a climate-beneficial fiber coop. Two ranches that are the primary sources of the Climate Beneficial Wool for Imperial Yarn can sequester 2,969 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent each year. They can offset the emissions from 631 passenger vehicles per year. This equals 6,877 barrels of oil, or 3,246,495 pounds of coal burned. Imperial Yarn also sources fiber from various smaller farms across the US including a farm here on the island, The Farm Krystal Acres.

If even a fraction of the people who read this are able to think just a little bit more continuously before buying a clothing item that could make a world of difference. Whether checking the materials of the clothes you buy and avoiding non-natural fibers such as nylon and polyester or buying from smaller local businesses, everyone can do their part to begin shifting the gears of change.

Thank you,

Lucie Kusner

San Juan Island