The fashion industry and UN team up for sustainable development

United Nations

The fashion industry and UN team up for sustainable development

Some of the most recognisable brands in the industry have joined together with the United Nations with the aim of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Big hitters such as Adidas, H&M, and Hugo Boss spent two days in Bonn at the COP23 summit, looking into how best to work together to achieve long-term sustainability.

Part of the problem, part of the solution

Their meeting explored some of the more pressing matters facing the industry, along with a long-term plan for future generations.

The fashion sector produces 60 million tonnes of garments a year and employs 60 million people around the world, mainly in developing countries. This in turn creates 1.2 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases annually, with some estimating that figure to increase by 60% by 2030.

To put that in perspective, the textile production industry creates more greenhouse gases than all international flights and maritime shipping combined.

With having such a huge impact on carbon emissions, it’s only prudent that the apparel industry be involved in the fight against climate change.

What was discussed

The main topic of conversation was based on possible environmental targets.

The industry is very much aware that a sudden cutting of manufacturing, no matter what good intentions it may have, can lead to upheaval in developing countries. This is why it is important to begin regional dialogues with industry suppliers.

It was also suggested that an online platform be created, in order to bring together the many separate environmental initiatives from around the world, all at different levels of the industry. This should make it easier for everyone to work together on a national and international scale, under the shadow of the Paris Climate Change Agreement.

One of the bigger issues facing the attendees was the lack of engagement amongst the majority of brands, suppliers, and stakeholders. Reaching out to this part of the industry is vital if we expect real change to occur.

Going forward, all parties agreed to continue and develop a common narrative, keeping open communications, especially at conferences and meetings.

A fashionable problem

Clothing designer Eileen Fisher recently claimed the clothing industry was second only to oil when it comes to global pollution, and it’s not hard to see why; it can take more than 20 thousand litres of water to manufacture a single T-shirt and pair of jeans.

The raw materials involved in making clothing is often overlooked, with cotton, leather, silk, and wool all having to be farmed. Growing, collecting, and storing these raw materials take time, energy and money.

And then there are the transportation costs. Apparel has to be shipped all over the world, by air, sea and land, and a single container ship produces the same emissions as 50 million cars.

The industry produces more carbon emissions than most countries, and if things are to change, working with the United Nations is the only viable option.

Facing the future

No matter what challenges lie ahead in the world of fashion and apparel, Image Label System will be here to face them head on.

We follow what’s happening in the world, like this meeting at the COP23 summit, and plan accordingly. We keep up with the latest news, trends and technologies, ready to deal with any potential problems around the corner.

Flexible enough to change with the times, but strong enough to always stay ahead, immago are the perfect partner to help your business deal with these changing times.

If you have any questions about how we can help your business meet the challenges of the future, contact us today, and have a chat with one of our friendly and experienced staff members.