Breaking down the walls of the Sustainable Fashion prisoner’s dilemma
Sit down and fasten your seatbelt: Fashion is the second or third most polluting industry in the world!
In Beth Howell’s ranking, Fashion comes on the podium, following Fuel and Agriculture. Even if this seems counter-intuitive, Fashion produces 10% of total world CO2.
In her article on Top 7 Most Polluting Industries | The Eco Experts she uses air and water pollution as the main measure to compare industry impact on environment.
Shocking, isn’t it?
While there’s no set way to clearly measure polluting industries, we all can see concrete consequences of pollution, in the air, water, soil, light, and noise.
Fast Fashion is the main responsible of this phenomenon and has other impacts such as the usage of micro-plastic (that pollutes oceans) and the exponential raising of clothing waste. According to Business Insider (How fast fashion hurts the planet through pollution and waste (businessinsider.com)) 85% of all textiles is wasted every year. Now this is raising concern among many and also big brands are trying to address this problem.
Sustainable Fashion is becoming more and more popular but it is difficult to fundamentally change the operating model of companies that have been built on Fast Fashion. Even for smaller companies the road ahead is not trivial.
And the prisoner’s dilemma has been debated at Kloters’ Board level.
If you look at numbers the best thing we can do is to sell less. And that is fundamentally wrong if you think of business logic. Which company should have in their business plan to sell less? Truth is that the single biggest problem that makes fashion so polluting is the quick clothing turnover that we have adopted.
People bought 60% more clothes in 2014 than in 2000. This extra consumption means higher production and delivery pollution, cheaper and less durable materials (made of microplastic that goes into oceans during washing) and more wasted textiles. Therefore the most obvious thing is for people to buy less, but more durable garments. But population is still growing and each of us, no matter the life style, job or social condition will have to cover part of our body with something.
Is it possible to escape from this situation? Is it possible to create an active contributor to reduce pollution? That is the challenge we would like to share with you in our next post.
Because when you’re backed against the wall, you can also try to break it down! Follow us
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