Can rethinking energy, disruptive reduction and design for the future provide the necessary levers for change? Redress believes so, and so do the US NGO ClimateWorks Foundation and environmental sustainability experts Quantis, who have recently released the Measuring Fashion 2018 report, which provides a holistic assessment of the environmental impacts of the global apparel and footwear industries. The report considered the industries’ value chains across seven stages – from fibre production and material extraction to end-of-life – and looked at different environmental indicators including climate change, resources, freshwater withdrawal, ecosystem quality and human health. The research reveals that the apparel industry alone accounts for a shocking 6.7% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Upon closer examination, researchers found that more than 50% of the apparel industry’s greenhouse gas emissions are produced by three phases: fibre production (15%), yarn preparation (28%), and the highest impact phase – dyeing and finishing (36%). In a business-as-usual scenario, apparel’s climate impact is expected to increase by 49%, which is equal to today’s total annual greenhouse gas emissions in the United States.
For a more in-depth look at the seven page study summary, which provides guidance for companies committed to making viable change and includes three levers for action, click here.