The fashion industry has traditionally been one of the most wasteful ones, but despite various sustainability efforts and initiatives, it is still not doing enough.
The ‘Fashion on Climate’ report has laid out that the industry will need to bring about a 50 per cent reduction in its carbon emissions by 2030 to achieve the goals set by the Paris Climate Agreement 2015.
The report is a joint effort of McKinsey & Company and Global Fashion Agenda, which says that the apparel and fashion industry bears the onus for 2.1 billion tonnes of CO2 emissions produced in 2018.
That amounts to 4 per cent of the total carbon emissions and is equivalent to the emissions produces by France, UK and Germany combined.
If this is not kept in check, the rate at which the industry produces emissions will rise by an annual growth rate of 2.7 per cent, amounting to 2.7 billion tonnes per year by 2030.
‘Accelerated abatement’ or reduction of annual emissions to 1.1 billion tonnes can be brought about by the brands and retailers in collaboration with their value chain partners in three areas.
The first being decarbonisation of materials production, minimising production and manufacturing waste as well as decarbonising garment manufacturing; the second is the brand’s operations where they can use more sustainable transport, recycled fibres, reduce over production and improve packaging among others; and the third, instilling sustainable behaviour in consumers by encouraging reuse, repair, resale and rental.
For those wondering how much more it will cost companies to adopt accelerated abatement, the report says that “55 per cent of the actions required for accelerated abatement can be delivered at net cost savings on an industry-wide basis.”
Some actions will likely cost a little more but that is the price the industry will have to bear to ensure a more sustainable future of fashion.