How is the fashion industry responsible for climate change?
The fashion industry was responsible for 4% of total greenhouse emissions in 2018. This is comparable to the combined emissions of France, Germany and the UK*.
70% of the fashion industry's greenhouse emissions are caused by creating raw materials*.
What have brands agreed to?
In an effort to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels, fashion brands including Burberry and H&M have pledged to halve their emissions by 2030.
This is an update from the previous goal of lowering emissions by a third (set in 2018).
Their next goal is to be net-zero by 2050.
However, the current trajectory shows that they will not reach this goal.
"Based on the current trajectory, fashion’s emissions would actually be at double the maximum level required to be in line with the Paris Agreement’s aim to keep global warming to 1.5°C." Emily Chan, British Vogue
Other commitments include only using electricity from renewable sources and phasing out coal from supply chains, both by 2030.
“The suppliers depend on the brands... Unless we’re all in it together, unless we have a collaborative strategy, nothing’s really going to work.” Rubana Huq, former president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association
What happens now?
“We should celebrate that it is moving in the right direction, but the whole industry needs to move from commitments to action.” Achim Berg, fashion lead at McKinsey.
The brands now have 12 months to submit their plans to hit this update target.
The industry is moving in the right direction, but some experts warn that without penalties for failing to reach these goals, change may not come fast enough.
* According to McKinsey.
Image credit: Flaunter - Unsplash