What are the capabilities inside the Nonprofit World? Is the nonprofit sector limited by tax-exempt policies, charity obligations, and strict entrepreneurial activities? Well, this research paper will provide you with the unlimited possibilities inside the non-profit world. Fashion is a multi-trillion dollar industry in the business of making and selling clothes. Clothing is also one of the main necessities in the human societies, providing many materials to fabricate the type of artistic expression a designer is giving to the world. However, clothing can also be one of the leading causes of pollution to our environment. According to heal yourself magazine online, the textile industry is the third largest consumer and polluters of water in the world behind the paper and oil industries. Cotton farming is also the single largest water consumption factor and one of the largest toxic pesticide users in the apparel supply chain. Furthermore, in an article on dosomething.org Tanaz Ahmed, a University of Michigan student wrote about pollution in fashion stating. In 2012, a Greenpeace report revealed that companies like Zara and H&M were selling products that contained hazardous chemicals. Not only were these chemicals contaminating waterways and vegetation, some of them were also cancer causing and hormone disrupting chemicals. There are many negative defects the fashion industry creates throughout our society; it ranges from wasteful and harmful products to increasing oil use.
What if I told you there was a way to refashion and remodel the entire for-profit fashion industry into a sustainable and healthy nonprofit fashion industry? Fashion is often the last thing people think about or address when discussing climate change, and steps we can take to reverse or stop it. The fashion industry creates 80 billion garments each year, all of which pull valuable resources from the earth. Nonprofit organizations have the ability to transition the fashion industry by creating and producing truly sustainable fashion. Sustainability provides a method to use resources in ways that does not impoverish the planet for the next generation. Some sustainable materials provide a higher value towards eco-friendly production, which will support resource-saving benefits. According to the Organic Trade Association, organic cotton is grown without the use of toxic pesticides or fertilizers. Besides helping the environment, there are other benefits from organic cotton products. Consumers suggest that organic cotton products are softer and easier on your skin. Recent awareness of these benefits has increased demand of organic cotton and thus, lowered its cost. Bamboo is one of the world’s most sustainable resources; the bamboo fabric produces environmental benefits such as clean air. According to Eartheasy.com, Bamboo gives us clean air to breathe, consumes carbon dioxide and, because dense, returns 30% more oxygen to the atmosphere than trees. Bamboo requires less energy and water to grow, reclaims land, can be harvested sustainably, and it’s 100% biodegradable. Hemp is the most durable material and is very eco-friendly. It requires no pesticides and needs little water, yet it renews the soil with each growth cycle. Its long roots prevent erosion and help retain topsoil. Clothing made of hemp is lightweight, absorbent, and with three times the strength of cotton.
As many designers and companies begin to become more eco-conscious about fashion, the nonprofit sector is also beginning to take advantage of sustainable and eco-friendly fashion through education and design. Made-By, a European nonprofit committed to improving environmental and social conditions in the fashion industry, has created benchmarks to evaluate the sustainability of textiles into classes, from least environmental impact to greatest. The Sustainable Apparel Coalition is an industry-wide group of more than 100 leading apparel and footwear brands, retailers, suppliers, nonprofits and NGOs working to reduce the environmental and social impacts of apparel and footwear products around the world. Even social entrepreneurs are taking advantage of the eco-friendly clothing trend. A case in point is Fed By Threads. Tucson-based social enterprise, founded by Alok Appadurai and his partner Jade Beall, began a way to help groups that feed hungry Americans. They starting designing a making clothing and, for every item sold, donate 1$ to an organization to help cover the costs of providing emergency meals. Then, few months later, that mission morphed to include the U.S. and using only sustainable, eco-friendly fabrics. After came another change, ensuring the clothing is made entirely of animal-free products. The sustainable fashion industry is starting to emerge as a strategy and method for many non-profits and social enterprises to use to enhance their social impact and mission. Also, these methods provide a fundraising mechanism for the nonprofit sector to become more sustainable. It is time to shift our focus to the climate changes going on in our world. We have to preserve our resources for the next generation and the generations to come. This is only a small stepping stone to create a pollution-free world and a more sustainable future.