It takes 7,600 litres of water to make one pair of cotton jeans. Every time you wash a synthetic piece of cloth, it releases 1900 pieces of microplastics in water. Fashion is the second-largest polluting industry on the planet, contributing to 20% of global wastewater.
The 90s saw the beginning of fast fashion when there was a major shift in the way we purchased our clothes. With an abundance of clothing options to choose from and a very low price to pay for each, people started buying recklessly, and without concern. According to Elizabeth L. Cline, the author of Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion, we only wear our clothes 7 times on average before discarding them. As shocking as it might seem at first, it is quite revelatory and thought-inducing.
Even though nothing much has changed today on a broader scale, small attempts are being made off and on in order to resolve this as much as possible.
In 2016, Shreyans Kokra, whose family has been in the synthetic textiles business for over 40 years, started a brand called Canvaloop in order to promote slow, sustainable fashion through Himalayan hemp clothing which has a longer shelf life and can be reused and recycled multiple times.
Shreyans’s experience with his family business gave him first-hand exposure to the disastrous impact of fashion on the environment. This is why he decided to create an alternative textile brand, which would promote a more sustainable model of business and have a less drastic impact on the environment.
Himalayan Hemp is a Cannabis Sativa plant growing in the wild, in the majestic and pristine Himalayan ranges in India and Nepal. It has been growing with ‘zero’ human input for over 5000 years — that means it needs no water (except natural rainfall), fertilisers or insecticides. The seeds are also not sowed by man but by nature itself — twice every year. It takes only 90 days to grow and also replenishes the soil it grows in.
“When I discovered hemp, I realised its potential to replace mainstream textile materials as a much more sustainable alternative. The next challenge was to build adequate technology that could convert the hard bark of the plant to super-soft fibre fit for making modern apparel. Once we achieved that through a 100 per cent green processing and developed the fibre we asked ourselves — What is it that we love as much as hemp? — That’s when SLOW Jeans came into the picture.” Slow jeans is the world’s first jeans made from Himalayan hemp.
Manufacturing Slow jeans made from Himalayan Hemp saves 3,600 litres of water per jeans. It is also much more durable than a normal pair of jeans and keeps bacteria away, thanks to its anti-microbial properties. A brilliant development in slow fashion, this is an alternative that is far more sustainable in terms of the amount of natural resources used, as well as the length of time that clothes made of sustainable fibres can last. Here’s a short video by Canvaloop on sustainable fashion, and how it can help in reducing the global carbon footprint.
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