Fashion industry sustainability concerns

The fashion industry makes a sizeable contribution to global greenhouse-gas emissions, with an estimation of 4% of the annual emissions. To set some context, the fashion industry emits the same quantity as the entire economies of France, Germany and United Kingdom combined. Despite efforts to reduce emissions, the fashion industry is on a trajectory to exceed the objective set out in the 2015 Paris Agreement.

“Fashion industry needs to cut emissions to 1.1 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide by 2030.”

Mckinsey & Company | Fashion on Climate

Fashion on Climate estimates that about 71% of the emissions are concentrated on the Upstream Production, while usage/end of use represents 23% and brand operations the remaining 6%.

“The Swiss watchmaker Richemont has destroyed nearly €500 million of its designer timepieces over the past two years to avoid them being sold and knockdown prices.”

The Guardian

The increased scrutiny and regulatory pressure (e.g. France moved on to ban the destruction of unsold luxury goods by 2030) driven by concerns around the sustainability of the fashion industry, already translated into both individual (e.g. Kering Group announced partnerships with off-season and pre-owned marketplaces) and collective commitments such as the Fashion Pact.

“A global coalition of companies in the fashion and textile industry, all committed to a common core of key environmental goals.”

Fashion Pact

Notwithstanding the moves in the right direction, underway initiative may end taking years to implement and/or fall short of the overall objectives. Waste reduction and increased production efficiency are ongoing mantras, and other alternatives, such as on-demand production, may negatively impact supply chain efficiency and generate limited gains as luxury industry is mostly pre-order based.

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