Those who choose to wear sustainable fashion products positively impact the environment by minimizing labor abuse and greenhouse gas emissions. It also encourages low-impact clothing care.
Reduces Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Using renewable energy and other innovative technologies in factories, the fashion industry has begun tackling the carbon footprint of its supply chain. The industry has already stepped up its game by launching initiatives to lower its emissions, such as the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action and Roadmap to Net Zero. But there is still more to do.
The fashion industry is already responsible for 4% of global emissions, but it could be responsible for as much as 26% by the time the Paris Agreement is signed. To address this, the industry must devise a smart business model such as responsible fashion advocacy, and adopt policies that help drive sustainable behavior. The industry could also improve its recycling practices by intercepting textiles before they are discarded. The recycled fabric can then be reused to make new garments. However, effective polyester recycling is limited. The industry could also encourage consumers to make more sustainable choices. For instance, reducing washing temperatures and avoiding tumble drying could save energy and water. The industry could also adopt a more circular production chain, reducing its environmental footprint. To truly reduce its carbon footprint, the industry should encourage its supply chain to use renewable energy and promote sustainable policies. It could also work with governments to promote a sustainable future.
Minimizes Labor Abuse
Creating the world’s most fashionable apparel requires a plethora of supply chain partners. The best way to tackle the task is to take a multi-pronged approach by educating customers, engaging in community building, and creating a greener workforce. Luckily, there are a few companies out there that do all this and more. A good start is to learn who the suppliers are and what they’re doing, in addition to learning what goes where consumers can show their support by buying from companies that are transparent about their supply chain and repair their own clothing to boot. While the aforementioned efforts are crucial to sustainability, they must be balanced with initiatives aimed at reducing the volume of fast fashion entering our landfills and brains. Sustainable Development Goal 12 (SDG 12) is a promising start, but we need to be smart about what we put on our bodies. We should find the best balance between promoting global environmental justice and ensuring no one is left out in the cold. The best way to do this is to find companies willing to partner in the process. It’s not easy, but it’s worth a shot.
Encourages Low-Impact Clothing Care
‘Sustainable fashion refers to clothing that is made of robust, durable materials and is built to last a lifetime. It aims to reduce the environmental and social impact of the garment production process.
The global fashion industry is estimated to produce 1.2 million metric tons of CO2 per year. This is equal to the total CO2 emissions in the UK, France, and Germany. The industry uses fossil fuels to produce, distribute, and recycle clothing. In addition, it consumes 70 million barrels of oil. It also uses 79 billion cubic meters of fresh water each year. To combat this problem, a think tank named the Fashion Forward Campaign was created. It works with fashion industry CEOs to promote a more sustainable business model. The campaign also aims to educate consumers on how to care for their clothing. This includes washing and line drying, which can preserve a garment’s color. Sustainable brands may offer programs to help consumers mend, repair, or recycle their clothing. Some even offer lifetime repair services. Others offer resale opportunities for previously loved items. This can broaden a brand’s consumer base, increase the profit margin per product, and introduce new revenue streams.