The Environmental Price of Fast Fashion
In recent years, the fashion industry has received abundant criticism over its limited consideration of social and environmental issues, placing the non-financial costs of fashion on the global public agenda. The environmental impacts of the fashion industry are widespread and substantial. For example, although there is a range of estimates, the industry produces up to 10% of global CO2 emissions (>1.7 billion tonnes annually). The rising environmental impact (and awareness thereof) can be attributed to the substantial increase in clothing consumption and, therefore, textile production. Global consumption has risen to an estimated 62 million tonnes of textile products per year and is projected to reach 102 million tonnes by 2030. As a result, fashion brands are now producing almost twice the amount of clothing today compared with before the year 2000.
In this report, Niinimäki et al. outline the global supply chain before discussing the environmental impacts of fast fashion, specifically, water use, chemical pollution, and CO2 emissions. Fashion-related waste is subsequently detailed, followed by guidance and perspectives on how the industry can be changed to become more sustainable, including decreasing garment production and waste, and increased garment use and lifetime.
Read the full report HERE.