With the recent outbreak of Coronavirus sweeping the globe, it’s made most of us consider our vulnerabilities - access to water, food and our health and safety.  As a result, we’re experiencing supermarkets running out of basic commodities such as toilet paper, bottled water, hand sanitiser and rice with restrictions imposed on customers in order to manage supply.  

Coronavirus (Covid-19) is not considered a major threat to our drinking water as modern drinking water treatment plants are well equipped to remove and disinfect viruses through filtration and disinfection processes, and because water comes directly into our houses (even in lockdown mode), water remains readily accessible. However, it’s a reminder of how important and precious this resource is. Without water, there is no life.  Now, more than ever we need to appreciate the importance of living more sustainably to preserve natural resources such as water - it’s importance further highlighted by World Water Day, celebrated annually on March 22.

The state of our water resources is crucial to our future. We, as humans, and all the systems of our society, from healthcare to transportation, rely heavily on this resource. Right now, the state of the climate with global warming, along with wasteful behaviour from society is putting pressure on a scarce resource.  

Making an effort on a daily basis, changing small habits and becoming more aware and conscious of what we do and how we consume can create a positive long term impact.

  • Take shorter showers
  • Don’t use your toilet to flush facial tissues, wet wipes, make up wipes etc put them in the rubbish bin instead
  • Don’t let the bathroom faucet and kitchen tap run unnecessarily
  • Recycle water when you can - collect cold water run off to water your plants 
  • Buy better and buy less

Did you know the production of just one cotton T-shirt takes 2,720 litres of water or the equivalent of 3 years worth of drinking water and the volume of water consumed by apparel production each year is currently around 79 billion cubic metres or the equivalent of 32 million olympic swimming pools - a considerable amount of water being wasted.

Pollution plays another significant issue contributing to the global water problem.  According to the World Bank, 17-20% of industrial water pollution is due to fast fashion textile dyeing and treatment with some of the larger textile mills discarding as much as 2 million gallons of toxic wastewater per day into surrounding freshwater sources.  

Organic cotton in comparison uses less water and is grown without harmful fertilisers or pesticides, the soil and groundwater aren’t contaminated by toxic runoff, lessening the impact on wild life and eco-systems.  Organic farming uses traditional and new scientific knowledge to grow crops in a way that develops healthy, fertile soil, conserves biodiversity and protects natural resources. Additionally, 80% of land under organic cotton is rain-fed meaning that water is more likely to be derived from rainfall rather than surface or ground water irrigation.

The numbers of those who have to live without a reliable water supply is alarming:

  • 748 million people around the world are without basic water access
  • More people die from unsafe water than from all forms of violence, including war
  • Diarrheal diseases, caused primarily by unsafe water and poor sanitation, kill more children under 5 years old than malaria, AIDS and measles combined

The issue with climate problems is often people think it has to be solved by governments or large corporations and the problem is too big to be fixed through actions of one individual. In reality, we can all make a huge impact just by changing our thinking and adjusting our lifestyle...imagine the impact every one of us as individuals, (with a 7 billion global population), would have on the health of our planet if we acted more responsibly and became more conscious consumers?

Alongside the efforts of individuals, businesses must also re-consider their practices, adapting a more sustainable business model. Made with Respect is committed to supporting purpose driven brands with a shared mission to protect the planet.




The Organic Company, designed in Copenhagan, create meaningful and quality interior textiles from 100% GOTS certified organic cotton. Honesty, transparency, protecting the environment and social responsibility is their core foundation and the basis of their company values.


 AmaElla lingerie is inspired by the elegance of nature and made from 100% GOTS certified organic cotton: responsibly sourced, earth conscious, all their garments are free from toxic chemicals.  AmaElla design beautiful quality lingerie that has minimum environmental impact and maximum social impact.




Feather Drum is an eco-luxe fashion statement of bespoke prints, contemporary shapes and timeless quality for children.  Feather Drum partner with makers who carry the GOTS certification and demonstrate socially sustainable practices, including provision of safe work conditions and fair wages.



Wolven eco-friendly range of athleisure wear is inspired by nature and the need to protect our planet for generations to come.  Made with OEKO-Tex certified Recycled P.E.T, a fabric that is made from recycled plastic bottles, free from harmful and toxic chemicals as well as sustainably harvested carbon neutral modal fabric.  Wolven invest in carbon programs that replace the resources they've spent.



Photos: Artem Beliaikin & Jyotirmoy Gupta, Unsplash

March 13, 2020 by Susan Stevens

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