Accusations of cruelty and recklessness have long troubled the garment industry, especially fashion luxury. Practices such as killing animals so people can wear furs, and burning unsold goods instead of donating them, have exposed the industry to global criticism.
The global clothing market is huge and growing – from $ 1.5 trillion in 2021 to about $ 2.3 trillion by 2025, according to Statista.
Clothing is one of the most environmentally harmful industries in the world. This is water. According to the Institute of World Resources, about 20% of industrial water pollution is accounted for by clothing production. The dyeing industry alone uses 5 trillion liters (1.3 trillion gallons) of water each year to dye fabrics. Levi’s says about 1,000 gallons of water are used to make one pair of jeans.
The World Bank has estimated that the garment industry provides 10% per annum global carbon emissions and will grow to about 50% by 2030 if the practice continues.
According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 80% of the fiber used for clothing ends up in landfills and incinerators. In China, the world’s largest garment producer, coal-burning textile factories produce about 3 billion tons of soot a year, a major factor in air pollution.
At a time when sustainability is becoming increasingly important to consumers, fashion brands are saying they are abandoning waste and environmental friendliness. But some of these allegations are nothing more than hype. «Greens»Is a marketing strategy that brands use to show themselves to be environmentally conscious. The lack of global standards, however, makes it difficult to verify such claims.
There are signs of progress. A recent bill in New York State will require corporations to meet a sustainable investment agenda called ESG – Environmental, Social and Governance. The proposed law, known as the Fashion Act, has a radical approach to accountability. This will apply to global clothing and footwear companies with more than $ 100 million in business in New York.
The proposed law requires manufacturers and retailers to list and track at least 50% of their supply chain – from raw material manufacturers to retailers. Businesses should publish an annual “Social and Environmental Sustainability Report” that includes all policies, processes, and activities that identify and mitigate potential environmental and social impacts.
A unique feature of the proposed law is that both the Attorney General of New York and citizens – through a citizen’s lawsuit – can challenge a campaign that is considered ineligible. Violators will be fined up to 2% of annual income of more than $ 450 million.
The fashion law would be the first law in the world aimed at the practice of sustainable development of the fashion industry.
A movement called “ethical fashion” aims to reduce harm to people and the environment from the production and distribution of clothing. This is a broad and vague concept.
Major brands that follow ethical fashion include Eileen Fisher (who says she has returned and repurposed more than 1.6 million garments since 2009), Christian Dior, Nike, Adidas and Everlane.
The global ethical fashion market is estimated at $ 5.8 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach $ 8.3 billion in 2025, according to the Ethical Fashion Global Market Report 2021 from publisher Research and Markets.
“Fast fashion” refers to the practice of producing large volumes of inexpensive clothes with a rapid turnover of stocks. This allows consumers to frequently update their wardrobe to keep up with fashion trends. But it is much more harmful to the environment than traditional clothing. This is the antithesis of ethical fashion.
Some fast fashion brands – including H&M, Shein and Zara, the three largest – are responding to criticism by recycling and recycling clothing to reduce waste.
Forensic analytics firm First Insight surveyed buyers in 2019 and found that sustainability of clothing is becoming a high priority. The survey showed that:
- Most Generation Z buyers (about 10 to 25 years old) prefer to buy an eco-label.
- Generation Z and Millennials (mid-20s to early 40s) together most often make purchasing decisions based on values and principles.
- Re-commerce (selling second-hand goods) is popular in all generations, while Generation Z and Millennials most often buy recycled (repurposed) items.
The growing number of Millennial and Generation Z buyers portends a more environmentally friendly attitude towards clothing brands.
https://www.practicalecommerce.com/apparel-brands-face-environmental-scrutiny Clothing brands are subject to environmental control