How many pairs of jeans can a suburban neighbourhood own?

We’ve heard it everywhere. Cotton is a water-heavy crop to grow. What does it mean?

To give some numbers, it can take about 2000L of water to grow enough cotton for a pair of jeans, and another 700L of water for a cotton t-shirt. That’s one thirsty outfit for jeans and a basic tee combo.

2000L of water per pair of jeans, and 700L of water per t-shirt. Multiply that by the number of jeans and shirts we have in our own closets, our roommates’ closets, our family members’ closets. How many pairs of jeans can a suburban neighbourhood own? How much water is that exactly? The exact answer is that we don’t know, but we can do something about it so that they become aware of their thirsty closets.

It becomes apparent that the amount of clothing we consume per first-world neighbourhood creates a water crisis elsewhere. What can we do about it? Our communities are full of big problems, but we have enough people in a suburban neighbourhood who are capable of solving some of them. Think local.