By Elena Picci
How much can you reduce your Carbon Emissions by switching to Sustainable Basics?
Did you know that the Fashion Industry emits more CO2 than flights and maritime shipping combined? What if we could reduce it by simply switching to sustainable basics such as socks, t-shirt and panties?
Key Points of Carbon Footprint and Sustainable Basics
If you are already part of Renoon, you know by now that the Fashion Industry emits more CO2 than flights and maritime shipping combined (Business Insider).
One thing is sure, we cannot live without our earth. For years now it has been said, seen, and repeated! The planet is dying. We are killing it in many ways. You know the song. The billions of tonnes of CO2 emitted each year are killing us softly.
To live as we currently do today, we would actually need 1.75 earths (Fortune).
The fashion industry is responsible for 10% of the global carbon emissions productions (Forbes).
#Whats does Carbon footprint even mean?
Bare with us just a second with some juicy numbers. Carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gases produced by human activities, measured in terms of carbon dioxide and other carbon compounds emitted. For example, 4’428km of driving by car is equivalent of 1 tonne of CO2 (Tshared)
Many brands signed the Fashion Pact and promised to reach carbon neutral by 2050 and to use 100% renewable energy throughout their supply chain by 2030 (Le Monde).
#Why sustainable basics?
How many pieces of clothing have you purchased but never worn? On average, we are not wearing half of our wardrobe (Green Peace).
Why do we at Renoon talk a lot about basics? Because these are the clothes we tend to purchase most often. We all need some fresh pairs of socks every couple months, or a new white T-shirt.
Your impact can be greater if it is focused on items that you will tend to buy several times per year. Therefore, today our focus will be on wardrobe essentials, which are Panties, Socks and of course those white t-shirts we all love. These items are more difficult to rent or to buy secondhand.
What if by switching to sustainable basics you could already have an impact?
PS: Our calculation is made on averages disclaimed by different brands. The aim is not to fill your head with numbers, but to give you some perspective of what your impact could be if you choose to buy sustainable essentials.
Save CO2 emissions by switching to Sustainable Panties
Of course, the most sustainable option is to be naked but we love fashion too much to quit it.
And as panties might not be the item you want to buy secondhand or rent, we have tips for you. How many times do you renew your panties ‘drawer’? Let’s take a look at how this impacts our beloved planet.
#Underwear Carbon Footprint
As you can imagine the carbon footprint of panties is not the most commonly available information out there. Surprisingly, we found a brand who discloses this information. Apparently, our dear underwear if made of common polyamide and cotton emits 0.6kg of CO2 emissions during manufacturing and creates a carbon footprint of around 1kg of CO2 in its lifetime (OVS).
Let’s imagine we buy those 3 packs every 3 months. This would mean that our panties’ carbon footprint is around 12kgs of CO2 annually!
#Sustainable Underwear Carbon Footprint
By switching to materials that emit less CO2 such as Tencel you could actually save 0.4kg of CO2 per sexy thong. In total, switching to underwear made with sustainable materials could save 7.2kg of CO2 emissions per year.
That may not seem like a lot, but combined with a sustainable bra you could in total save double and have a sustainable set (let us know when your next date will be checking how sustainable your lingerie is…)!
Save CO2 emissions by switching to Sustainable Socks
We all have the same problem. Our socks magically disappear. Does the washing machine eat our socks? Are there mini goblins that steal them during the night?
Nobody really knows the truth about where our socks end up – but one thing is sure, we have to buy them pretty often. Just take a minute and try to figure out how many socks you bought last year, Or should we ask ourselves how many we lost?
#Socks Carbon Footprint
The footprint of socks varies widely based on their material and thickness.
Socks made from polyamide, produce 2.1 kg of CO2 emissions during production (OVS). This carbon footprint is not complete as it does not include the emissions related to the use of the product and the end of its lifecycle when we inevitably throw them away (or simply disappear in the case of our socks). On average, half of the carbon footprint is produced once the item reaches our closet. Therefore, one pair of socks made from Polyamide has a carbon footprint equivalent to 4kg of CO2. Just because we all love mathematics, let’s multiply this number by the amount of pairs of socks we bought last year. Based on a survey, on average in Italy, each person purchases 16 pairs fo socks annually. This would be around 64kgs of CO2 emissions only for socks! What if you could reduce it by switching to sustainable socks?
#Sustainable Socks Carbon Footprint
The sneaker brand Allbirds, well known for disclaiming the carbon footprint of each item they propose on their website estimates that the entire carbon footprint of their socks to be between 1.4kg to 1.9kg of CO2, depending on the weight of materials used.
It is half the amount of emissions of basic socks! Why?
Because these sustainable socks are made of Tencel, recycled nylon, and recycled polyester.
In total, you could avoid more than 40kgs of CO2 emissions per year by simply going for socks made of sustainable materials.
The best alternative would be to shop socks from a carbon-neutral brand or find sustainably made items.
Save CO2 emissions by switching to Sustainable T-shirts
By now, we hope you have that white T-shirt that goes with everything in your closet.
It might be your favorite piece from your wardrobe, and you may have several back-ups to wear between washes.
How many white t-shirts do you currently have? Never, enough right?
Let’s just have a look together at its carbon footprint and how much could we save by switching to sustainable options.
#T-shirt Carbon Footprint
The lifecycle footprint of a t-shirt includes all the CO2 emissions from the cultivation of the raw materials to the times you will wash it.
Careful though! If your t-shirt contains polyester it could emit up to 5.5.kg of carbon dioxide instead of 2.35kg, if made from cotton! Just to give you a quick and beautiful image of this material. Polyester requires 70 million barrels of oil every year to be produced (BBC).
Choose t-shirts made with organic cotton or Tencel.
#Sustainable T-shirt Carbon Footprint
Based on a Tshared study, Your sustainable t-shirt would emit 2,35 kg of CO2 emissions over its entire lifetime.
Half of it is emitted while you use it. 1,22kg will be emitted during washing, drying, ironing and once we through the item away. This can be reduced easily. Tumble dry worst offender in terms of CO2 emissions once the item reaches your home. To reduce your at home carbon footprint, the first step would be to wash your t-shirt less often and to make sure the entire washing machine is full. The second step would actually be to skip the drying and ironing all together.
Let’s imagine we are really responsible with the item once it gets home and the carbon footprint is only 2kg of CO2 emissions. What will be your t-shirt’s carbon footprint in a year?
For only 5 cotton and well-treated t-shirt purchases per year, you could reduce this item’s carbon footprint from 27.5kg of CO2 equivalents (CO2e) to 10kg of CO2e. More than half!
How much CO2 can you save by switching to sustainable basics?
To conclude by switching to sustainable panties, socks and t-shirts you could reduce your carbon footprint to 64kg of CO2, down from 128kg.
7 kg of CO2e by switching to sustainable panties (12 per year)
40 kg of CO2e by switching to sustainable socks ( 16 pairs per year)
17 kg of CO2e by switching to sustainable t-shirt ( 5 per year)
Not enough for you? Do you want to have zero emissions?
If this is important to you make sure you select that “Carbon Neutral” preference when you:
Small changes in our habits can become significant over time. What better occasion than the 5th of June, known as well as the World Environment Day, to get new habits and to switch to sustainable basics?