Is Fast Fashion Impacting Global Climate?


The fashion industry is a significant contributor to the climate crisis. A 2021 report has identified fashion and its supply chain as the planet’s third-largest polluter.

Over-reliance on synthetic fibres has substantially increased the impact on climate in recent years.

The industry emits 1.2 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year-more than the shipping and aviation industries combined.

Around two-thirds of the carbon footprint of a garment comes from the production of its fibres.

Fast Fashion and The Climate Crisis

Fast fashion is a business model that creates a sense of impulse buying, thus, in turn, fuels garment production.

As brands derive new trends, shoppers will likely buy items more frequently, creating a spiral to the bottom.

The increasing economic development is expecting to fuel the demand and taste for a fast-fashion lifestyle in countries like Africa, India and South America.

The fashion industry’s water consumption, CO2 emissions, textile waste, and the chemicals used pose environmental risks and health risks for those involved in the country.

The wastewater goes down the streams and rivers and pollutes them.

Fossil Free Fashion Scorecard-2021

Environmental campaign group Stand. Earth assessed 47 brands on their efforts to combat climate change and released its first Fossil Free Fashion Scorecard.

The grades in the scorecard released on August 24, 2021, are depressing. Most fashion brands, including big household names, failed to make their businesses environmentally sustainable.

Big brands from Zara to H&M, Nike to Puma could not eliminate fossil fuels from their manufacturing and shipping processes.

Sports brands, however, fared better than fast fashions on climate commitments and made a switch to low-carbon materials in manufacturing.

One of the biggest fashion brands, Zara, got a D in decarbonising its manufacturing. Whereas Mark and Spencer, Prada and Uniqlo got the lowest grade, F.

What Should be Done?

The fashion industry must change and become greener. The industry must embrace renewable energy and develop methods of recycling as well as reducing waste.

The sector should primarily focus on producing better quality and long-lived items. Innovations like clothes rental and new approaches to resale should scale up with emphasis on improving quality and clothing rental schemes.

Industry must lead initiatives to reduce environmental costs.

From production to retailing and recycling, different sectors must begin to work together to save mother earth.

Slow fashion is the only sustainable future for the industry and the planet. The runway is getting shorter for enterprises to move from commitments to action to solve the climate crisis.

Consumers should understand fashion as more of a functional product rather than entertainment.

Ankita Gautam
Ankita Gautam
Ankita Gautam aka AnkiTam, is an Educator, who learns by reading and expresses by writing. She has been an avid reader, writer, speaker, learner, and observer ever since. A science background could never stop her from grasping the nitty-gritties of fashion, technology, and trending news. She finds her solace in magazines and newspapers. Being an ambivert, she is blessed to be flexible in knowing when to talk and when to listen. She is an opinionated personality with an optimal level of compassion and empathy. She can be easily found entertaining people with her wordplays and also with her wry sense of humor. She is a pantomath, who wants to know everything.



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