The fashion industry has a high water footprint, especially denim manufacturers. Creating that nice distressed blue jeans look everybody wants is water intensive and poisonous.
First, there is heavy water use to irrigate cotton, which is also one of the most pesticide-heavy crops. Then, to get that lived-in look, the fabric is put through several chemical-intensive washes. Those chemicals include cadmium, chromium, mercury, lead, copper, and manganese.
Certain companies within the industry are striving to do better. Marie Claire profiles a few of them and the steps they’re taking to lesson their water (and ecological) footprint.