Matt Case - April 5th 2024 - 7:39am PDT 

    Scientists have discovered that wearing a pair of fast fashion jeans ( Forever 21, H &M )  just once has the environmental impact equivalent to driving a car for 6.4 miles, producing 2.5kg of CO2. Researchers at Guangdong University of Technology conducted a comprehensive study on the lifecycle of Levi's jeans, from cotton cultivation to disposal. They found that jeans classified as 'fast fashion' are often worn only seven times, resulting in a carbon footprint 11 times greater than more durable jeans.

    Dr. Ya Zhou, the study's lead author, highlighted that jeans, a common wardrobe item, significantly contribute to environmental degradation. The study showed that the carbon footprint of fast fashion jeans is 95-99% larger than that of traditional jeans, which are typically worn 120 times. Fast fashion garments are quickly transported and discarded after fewer wears, with their production and fiber creation accounting for 70% of total emissions.

    The study also noted that 48% of a jean's total carbon footprint comes from post-purchase care, including washing, drying, and ironing. In contrast, traditional fashion jeans have a much lower per-wear CO2 impact, primarily because they are worn more frequently and washed less.

    Dr. Zhou emphasized the environmental cost of fast fashion's rapid response to trends, often relying on air transport, which significantly increases CO2 emissions compared to slower, more sustainable transportation methods.