- On August 17, 2016
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The Fashion industry is an international business with the production of a single garment often involving at least three different countries. Transport, high energy and inefficient production processes mean that the energy and waste costs of textiles and clothing are high. It is possible for fashion businesses to take effective steps to reduce their environmental footprint, and that of the industry as a whole.
Clothes are products that consumers buy often and replace often. And because of that, the carbon footprint of the textile industry is not small at all. The carbon footprint of a clothing product is the amount of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere over the life cycle of that product. This means that the fashion carbon footprint includes the manufacturing of raw materials, fabrication, transportation, packaging, numerous washing cycles, and the electricity consumption for all these actions.
To reduce the carbon footprint of the textile industry we have to choose our clothes smart! We can start by choosing more sustainable fabrics like organic cotton. Less fertilizer and pesticides are used for the manufacturing of organic cotton. The garments made from organic cotton are usually free from chlorine bleaches and synthetic dyes. One of the newest eco-friendly fabrics is the bamboo. It is hypoallergenic, fast-drying and naturally anti-bacterial, for this material are also used fewer pesticides and fertilisers. Linen is another well-known sustainable fabric.
Brands need to start using renewable energy for the production of their clothing. Actually, brands have already started using sustainable fabrics or producing eco-friendly clothes. Recycling is now a trend in the fashion industry. This year, at the Met Gala, Emma Watson’s outfit was made from recycled plastic bottles. Margot Robbie and Lupita Nyong’o also wore dresses from recycled materials.
Yet, Building recycling into business models requires utilising creative thought processes and technology. Reducing carbon-emissions is a process that requires the efforts of both consumers and retailers, from simple day-to-day actions right through to large-scale design and manufacturing processes. Retailers that recognise this are leading the ay towards a more sustainable future for business.
Sources: Greenchoices / Ethical Fashion Forum