Our bad fashion habits – and how we can change them – in numbers

PARIS, January 22 – The fashion industry is estimated to contribute more than two percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, and is on track to get worse if major changes are not made.

Here are some key figures on how fashion affects the planet and how consumers can make a difference.

7 to 10

The average number of times a garment is worn before it is discarded, according to the Ellen Macarthur Foundation.


The largest number of new items we should buy each year if we want to meet the UN’s 1.5 degree Celsius limit on global warming, according to the Hot or Cool Institute think tank.

About 30 percent

Percentage of donated clothing that ends up in landfills or incinerators abroad, according to Hot or Cool. They may also end up undercutting local suppliers’ prices if they flood the market.

1 second

The Ellen Macarthur Foundation estimates that the equivalent of a truckload of clothes is burned or buried in landfill every second.

100 billion

The number of new garments produced each year, according to the Clean Clothes Campaign.

1 percent

Less than one percent of the material used to make clothes is actually recycled into new clothes, according to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).

Many fast fashion companies say they can recycle old clothes into new ones, but the reality is that the quality of the fabric is generally not suitable for making salable clothes.

30 degrees Celsius

The recommended temperature at which clothes should be washed to extend their life.


On average, the fashion consumption of the richest 20 percent of the world’s population causes 20 times more emissions than that of the poorest 20 percent, say Hot or Cool.

in 2023

This year, France will pass a decree requiring every item of clothing sold in the country to have a label detailing its impact on the climate. The EU is expected to follow suit.

8 times

The used clothing market is growing eight times faster than the overall clothing market, according to online consignment store thredUP.


In the last 15 years, clothing production has roughly doubled, the Ellen Macarthur Foundation has estimated, but we’ve used almost 40 percent less of it over the same period.

40 percent

Percentage of global consumers who belong to Generation Z they were born between 1997 and 2012 ― according to McKinsey & Company. Gen-Z is both part of the problem and part of the solution when it comes to fast fashion: they make up a huge proportion of consumers, but they also call for more sustainable fashion. ― ETX Studio

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