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How Vegan Is Your T-shirt?

How Vegan Is Your T-shirt?

Are you still wearing this old-fashioned T-shirt? Is it your grandma’s or what?the pressure from society to buy new ‘trendy’ clothes is stronger than you think. We don’t buy clothes, because we need them, we buy them because we want them.

You may ask, ‘And what? Why can’t I spend my well-earned 15 bucks on the T-shirt I like?’ Definitely, you can. You’re a free individual and can do anything you want in this life. 

But have you ever felt that the price we pay for clothes is suspiciously too low? Like, how is it profitable for someone to produce, ship, store, advertise, and sell a T-shirt for 15 dollars only? Now, it is time to shed light on the real price we, as humanity, pay for blindly following fast trends. 

Being so proud of the technological and scientific advances our wisdom has led to; we fail to notice that we are willingly turning the Earth into an inferno and ourselves into the inhabitants of it. 

Nature suffers. And the only reason for it is our greedy and indifferent attitude to it. Let’s waste all the resources the planet gives us? Why not? We live only once, and life is very short. We are a dominant species on Earth. So we can do anything that comes to mind. 

Let’s build factories and power plants. More and more. Bigger and bigger. Let’s waste and destroy everything our great-grandparents so carefully tried to save for us. They would be so proud of our generation. 

Or maybe, let’s stop? Maybe we should rethink the habits that destroy the home we all live in? Maybe, the next time you buy a piece of clothing, you should think about how long you will wear it? A year? Two? Or maybe it will gather dust in your drawer forever?

 How Vegan Is Your T-shirt?

If I tell you, that in order to make one T-shirt around 2700 liters of water is needed, will you still think that the only price you pay is 15 dollars? Will you stockpile cheap clothes on sales or finally decide to make a t-shirt printing on the top you already have and give a new life to it? 

Let’s start with cotton T-shirts. Usually, they are sold to countries all over the world from China, India, or America. The life of a cotton shirt starts from a seed. A lot of irrigation is needed for cotton to grow. 

And we, as humans, haven’t learned to irrigate in an economical and sustainable way. Maybe we would, but who would bother themselves with wasting time on it? There is still a lot of water. No?

Meanwhile, cotton uses more pesticides than any other crop known to humans. This pollutant is cancerogenic and severely damages the local ecosystem and causes harm to the health of field workers. 

Now you can say ‘Let’s just buy polyester T-shirts instead of cotton ones.’ Sounds like a decent solution. Indeed, when the green movement has arisen, many mass-market shops have picked up the trend of being eco-friendly.

You can see the hoodies and T-shirts with the phrases ‘LET’S SAVE THE PLANET,’ or ‘WE DON’T HAVE A PLANET B’ in almost every clothes store. You think cool; finally, the fashion industry has become aware of the harm they cause to the environment.

 How Vegan Is Your T-shirt?

But aren’t the T-shirts they sell made of polyester? In most cases, yes. A cheap material, albeit not a very high-quality one. Sorry to disappoint you, but polyester is a polymer, the same as plastic. Can you imagine someone buying a plastic bottle saying ‘let’s save the planet?’ -Neither do I.

The polyester T-shirt you buy will not serve you for a long time. It will end up in the garbage in a couple of months, polluting the environment. And you don’t have to throw your clothes away in order to pollute. It’s enough to…wash it.

When you wash polyester, nylon, acrylic clothes, the microplastics from them leach into the water. Eventually, this contributes to the pollution of the ocean.

No matter whether cotton or polyester, the amount of energy, fuel, labour wasted on the production and shipment of a T-shirt is incomprehensible. And every time you click ‘add to the cart’ or go to a fitting room with a fresh pile of clothes, you create a vast need for the clothes being produced. 

Make wise choices when it comes to clothes. Don’t let yourself get deceived by someone’s cunning marketing strategy. Always buy the things that will bring you pleasure for years, not for seconds.

The price you pay for a T-shirt is not 15 dollars; it’s our common future and the future of those whom we’ll bring to this world. Let’s make the Earth a nice place to live together for us and for future generations. 

Oksana Kohut