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Sustainable clothing launch at UW highlights water waste in fashion industry

With this event and their product, Sweat Free Apparel and the University of Waterloo aims to promote the development of sustainable water practices within the garment industry
UW sustainable clothing launch
An outline of the display representing 2,700 litres of water is used to make one t-shirt. Photo from Sweat Free Engineering.

A local startup, Sweat Free Apparel, is hoping to teach people about the importance of sustainable water use within clothing manufacturing in an upcoming demonstration at the University of Waterloo.

"Fashion is a very thirsty industry," says Chanakya Ramdev, Founder of Sweat Free Apparel, "The entire fashion industry uses ten per cent of the world's fresh water."

On November 18th from 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m., participants will listen to a presentation on water use within the apparel industry, witness a demonstration of Sweat Free's technology, and enjoy a free lunch afterwards.

The highlight of the event will be a display of 2,700 water bottles with a t-shirt placed on top to represent the amount of litres it takes to make a single garment. 

Ramdev says this striking visual comparison shows why the fashion industry is ranked the second biggest polluter in the world.

"Twenty per cent of all the world's water waste comes from fashion." says Ramdev, "Fossil fuels get the blame, and rightfully so, but no one asks about the second which is fashion."

Besides raising awareness about this issue, the event is also a launch for their product, which has been designed to reduce water consumption.

Ramdev says he started Sweat Free Apparel after experiencing the hot climate of Hong Kong during a co-op term in school, and wanted to find a way to help people avoid ruining their clothes from sweat.

From there, he developed a multi-layer, attachable patch for the armpit or crotch of any garment.

He says the patch is a replacement for the undershirt, which traps sweat, reducing the amount of fabric used to make the clothes.

"It makes the garment last longer, because a lot of clothes get ruined from the deoderant, antiperspirant and yellow sweat stains." says Ramdev.

Ramdev says by doing this, Sweat Free's technology has decreased the amount of water needed for clothing production to less than a hundred litres.

"We reduced the fabric, we reduced the wash cycle, and at the same time, we reduced the need for more garments." says Ramdev.

As climate change continues, Ramdev says Sweat Free is trying to play a tiny role in reducing the water crisis with their product, and hosting this event.

He says him and his team hope those attending will consider how much impact their clothing has on the environment. 

"This will be a way for us to give light to that issue," says Ramdev, "Because the fashion industry does a tremendous job of suppressing all these facts, and if we don't do anything these facts will be continued to be suppressed." 

To register for the event, click here.


Ariel Deutschmann

About the Author: Ariel Deutschmann

Ariel Deutschmann is a feature writer and reporter who covers community events, businesses, social initiatives, human interest stories and more involving Guelph and Wellington County
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