The fashion industry, has significant environmental footprint across its value chain. Natural fibres, such as cotton and wool, are produced using vast areas of agricultural land and large amounts of water, energy and chemicals, while the manufacture of synthetic fibres is based on fossil fuels. The use of chemicals and additives in textile production exerts significant impacts on local and regional water bodies. Their global distribution network emits greenhouse gases and generates packaging waste. The sector is a major contributor to climate change through its energy use and waste management. Apparel and footwear have been estimated to produce as much as 8 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions through their life‐cycle. In 2015, greenhouse gas emissions from textile production amounted to 1.2 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2‐eq), more than international flights and shipping combined.
Using resources much more wisely
It is time to rethink our business models. The fashion industry is the second top polluting industries worldwide. By shifting from a linear to a circular economy, we can coordinate change. This has to happen on the producer side as well as the buyer side. Indeed, by buying and producing products that last, we can overcome this challenge together.