The fashion industry is the fifth biggest polluter in the world. During recent years, people have begun to see the detrimental effects of unethical and unsustainable production and consumption behaviour on our environment in a whole new light.
With concern for our planet rapidly increasing, the G7 was joined by more than 20 fashion retailers and brands, including the owner of Gucci, Kering, H&M and Zara’s parent company, Inditex in the French town of Biarritz this week. They have come together to form a global pact, with the three main objectives being: to fight the climate crisis, to restore biodiversity and protect the oceans.
According to a report from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation that exposes the sheer wastefulness of the fashion industry, and warned that “if the industry continues on its current path, by 2050, it could use more than 26% of the carbon budget associated with a 2C pathway.”
As the younger generation drive the demand for sustainable, ethical and affordable clothes, they have begun turning away from the fast fashion industry and instead investing their money into purchasing second-hand and vintage. In an annual report by ThredUp, the largest online secondhand shopping site, they predict that the secondhand market will reach USD$51B in five years.
The industry is moving forward to preserve the environment, with Inditex, the third largest apparel manufacturing company in the world, pledging to ensure that all of its collections would be made from 100% sustainable fabrics and to send zero waste to the landfill before 2025. This makes it the first international high street store to announce such a large change in their manufacturing process.
With the formation of the Fashion Pact, it seems that the fashion industry is finally on the right track to effecting positive and long-lasting systemic change.