The fashion industry’s impact on the environment is staggering. The only way to make the sector truly sustainable is for producers to scale back and consumers to buy less.
Fashion and climate : the fashion industry is facing calls to reduce its carbon footprint, but true sustainability requires both producers and consumers to scale back. The Fashion Revolution movement, marking 10 years of campaigning for responsible clothing, urges reducing production and consumption levels for a more sustainable future.
RELEVANT SUSTAINABLE GOALS
Sustainable Fashion : the greenest garment is the one you already own
The fashion industry has come under fire for its significant contribution to greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for over 2 billion tonnes per year – that’s equivalent to 4 percent of all global emissions, according to a recent analysis by Fashion on Climate. This issue was once again highlighted during the latest Fashion Week, a month-long extravaganza of catwalks in New York, Milan, London, and Paris. The transportation of fashion’s elite and their entourage from one city to the next comes with a hefty carbon price tag, with a study by Carbon Trust finding it contributes a staggering 241,000 tonnes of CO2 per year. The fashion industry must address this significant carbon footprint if it is to become more sustainable and responsible in the eyes of consumers and activists alike.
Fashion shows are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the fashion industry’s environmental impact. The online fast and ultra-fast fashion brands, like Shein, Primark, and Boohoo, have the greatest impact. They offer cheap and disposable clothing that encourages consumers to constantly chase after the latest trends.
But these clothes come at a high cost. They’re made from fossil fuel-based polyester and dyed with 8,000 harmful chemicals that damage human health. And let’s not forget the predominantly female workforce toiling away in factories with little to no social protection.
The small price tag on these clothes also makes us feel less guilty about throwing them away or donating them for recycling. However, recycling alone won’t solve the industry’s environmental problems. The industry needs to take responsibility for reducing its impact throughout the entire supply chain, and consumers must shift their mindset to prioritize quality over quantity.
It’s time for the fashion industry to face up to its responsibilities and for consumers to make a change. Only then can we create a more sustainable and responsible future for fashion.