Fashion Industry Issues
The Fashion and Textile Industry is a huge contributor to economic inequality, human rights issues, and environmental issues. There is a lack of incentives within the fragmented global fashion value chain to address and disrupt these deficits.
In recent years, the fashion industry has come under criticism for its extremely wasteful and environmentally damaging practices. The urgency to solve and amend this industry can be boiled down to three main consequences:
The depletion of natural renewable and non-renewable resources.
Excessive generation of waste
The exacerbation of exploitation and other human rights issues.
The fashion world is characterized by very complex textile supply chains and fashion brands employ approximately 200+ suppliers for their products. This makes it difficult to enforce ethical sourcing of raw materials and fair labour practices.
It takes around 7,500 litres of water (2,000 gallons) to make a single pair of jeans, equivalent to the amount of water the average person drinks over a period of seven years. The cost of staying fashionable is a lot more than just the price tag (UNCTAD)
UN Facts and Figures about the Environmental Impact of Fashion
needed to make one pair of jeans
gallons of water
billion cubic metres of water,
enough for 5 million people to survive, is used by the fashion industry every year
Fashion industry produces
of global wastewater
Clothing and footwear production is responsible for
of global greenhouse gas emissions
Every second, the equivalent of
one garbage truck
of textiles is landfilled or
between 2000 and 2014
The industry is responsible for
more carbon emissions
than all international flights and maritime shipping combined
The dominant business model in the sector is that of “fast fashion”, whereby consumers are offered constantly changing collections at low prices and encouraged to frequently buy and discard clothes. This trend is responsible for a series of negative social, economic, and environmental impacts, which is why it is crucially important to ensure that clothes are produced as ethically and sustainably as possible.
We believe consumers have significant autonomy and power to solve fashion's ethical, social, and environmental problems. With information so readily available at our fingertips, we have a responsibility to educate consumers.
The Current Paradigm