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Task 1 (group) 

Read or skim the text below: Fashion’s Environmental Impact.

After having read the text, you talk about it (2-4 pupils together) and help each other understand it.

Fashion's Environmental Impact 

The fashion industry has a disastrous impact on the environment. In fact, it is the second largest polluter in the world, just after the oil industry. And the environmental damage is increasing as the industry grows.

However, there are solutions and alternatives to mitigate these problems. The first step lies in building awareness and willingness to change.

Source: Gigie Cruz-Sy / Greenpeace


In most of the countries in which garments are produced, untreated toxic wastewaters from textiles factories are dumped directly into the rivers.

Wastewater contains toxic substances such as lead, mercury, and arsenic, among others. These are extremely harmful for the aquatic life and the health of the millions people living by those rivers banks. The contamination also reaches the sea and eventually spreads around the globe. 

Another major source of water contamination is the use of fertilizers for cotton production, which heavily pollutes runoff waters and evaporation waters.


  • Choose clothes made in countries with stricter environmental regulations for factories (EU, Canada, US...).
  • Choose organic fibers and natural fibers that do not require chemicals to be produced.