29 March 2015

How can the fashion industry become more sustainable?

The Issue

How can the fashion industry become more sustainable?


Second to oil, fashion and textiles is the most polluting industry in the world. Every stage in a garment’s life threatens our planet and its resources. It can take more than 20,000 litres of water to produce 1kg of cotton, equivalent to a single t-shirt and pair of jeans. Up to 8,000 different chemicals are used to turn raw materials into clothes, including a range of dyeing and finishing processes. And what becomes of the clothing that doesn’t sell, falls apart or goes out of style? More often than not, it is discarded in giant landfills. How can the fashion industry become more sustainable?
Context
Opinions
Lucy Siegle

Op-Ed | Sustainable or Superficial?

Fashion’s failure to move beyond the most easily achievable — and easily marketable — sustainability issues puts it behind other sectors, argues Lucy Siegle.

Tristan Tremschnig Global Communications Strategist, Greenpeace East Asia

Op-Ed | People Power Can Clean Up Toxic Fashion

In order to reduce fashion’s environmental impact, people must pressure the suppliers to fashion’s biggest brands to publicly disclose their pollution, says Tristan Tremschnig of Greenpeace.

Linda Greer Director, Natural Resources Defense Council

Op-Ed | Remove Toxic Chemicals and Fabrics from Fashion’s Supply Chain

Dr Linda Greer, senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council, says fashion designers should cut out toxic chemicals and choose their materials carefully.

Mesh Chhibber Co-founder, Peau de Chagrin

Op-Ed | Fashion Should Ban Chrome Tanning

Fashion brands should stop manufacturing leather goods using methods that compromise the quality of their products and damage the environment, argues Mesh Chhibber.

Jonas Eder-Hansen Development Director, Danish Fashion Institute

Op-Ed | The Fashion Industry Must Network to Create Change

Fashion businesses should pool their resources and industry leaders must learn from their peers. Only then will the fashion industry achieve lasting, sustainable change, says Jonas Eder-Hansen.

Julie Gilhart Fashion Consultant

Op-Ed | Industry Leaders Need to Have the Courage to Be More Transparent

Industry leaders must make their businesses more transparent and begin to change where and how their products are made, argues Julie Gilhart.

Rachel Kibbe Founder, Helpsy

Op-Ed | Support Smaller Fashion Brands

Smaller fashion brands are miles ahead of big businesses when it comes to sustainability, says Rachel Kibbe, leader of the social media campaign #itsnotjuststella.

Top Comments
It is extremely unfair — and totally false — to characterize all chrome tanned leathers as “toxic”.
By Jean Cassegrain, Fontaine, France
I believe that the only way the fashion industry will truly take on sustainable changes is through international regulation.
By Forrester Dineen
Our actions — consuming less, pushing for positive change - can lead to two-way change and collaboration. We can't always point the finger at businesses.
By Kristen Marano, Keilor, Australia

What's your opinion?