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Wealthy fashionistas are making the planet pay

The urgency of tackling climate change, and the ever-shrinking time frame within which humanity must make meaningful progress, means retrofitting won’t cut it – fashion requires systemic and structural change.

self destruct

Buying second-hand clothes, repairing and maintaining long-loved clothes, and washing clothes at low temperature can all reduce carbon emissions, but in rich countries, the number of new clothes bought every year must be absolutely reduced.

For the wealthiest consumers in countries such as the UK, US and Japan, that means buying an average of just five new clothes a year.

Viewed in this light, loyal fans of a football club like Manchester City can use up their quota by imitating their team.

Big clubs change their kits every year and make money by encouraging fans to buy them.Manchester City Men’s Collection Includes their home and away kits, “third” kits, goalkeeper kits and eSports kits. Not to mention the World Cup, which sponsors the big fossil fuel polluters Qatar Energy and Qatar Airways.

A big step forward would be to stop promoting our own self-destruction through the sale of ads that pollute, overconsume our lifestyles.

no guilt

Fashion is something that now looks like it needs to be added to the product list, along with other high-carb products like red meat that shouldn’t be advertised.

Doing things that make behavior change easier, such as removing the consumer pressure from advertising, is key.

As Dilys Williams, professor of sustainable fashion design at the London College of Fashion, puts it, there are indeed limits to “a technology-centric approach to sustainability within an exploitative system”.

So fashion needs to be lumped into the same category as the fossil fuel companies themselves, automakers and airlines. consumers of such products, bad ad campaign Show, no encouragement needed.

It should be the era of “full closet”. In the age of fast fashion, e-commerce and guilt-free returns, the concept of rethinking consumption like this is foreign to many.


But absolute reductions are now necessary due to the sheer size of the global fashion industry, cyclical short-termism and growing demand for specific fibers and textiles.

Despite the best intentions of some consumers in rich countries, a shocking 30% of used clothes exported overseas through various reuse and charity schemes end up directly incinerated or landfilled at their destination.

Globally, less than 1% of used clothes are recycled into new clothes, despite a host of promises from fashion houses. In comparison, about half of all paper is recycled.

Soaring demand for synthetic fibers is also causing fashion’s sustainability status to be falling apart at the seams.

Polyester, a plastic made from oil and gas, is the most common fiber in the world’s fashion industry, used in more than half of all clothing produced. Demand for polyester is driving up emissions and plastic pollution.


Have there is also evidence The fashion industry’s insatiable appetite for polyester has led some of the biggest brands on the planet, from Nike to ASOS, to rely on Russian oil exports despite Russia’s use of its energy supplies for political influence, the ongoing invasion of Ukraine and countless Atrocities related to human rights issues.

Not only is fashion contributing to climate change and exacerbating already pervasive plastic pollution, but its supply chains are also directly linked to many forms of illegal or unethical behaviour.

Systemic and behavioral change, especially for affluent consumers with inflated wardrobes, requires collective change so people can dress within the boundaries of the planet and climate.

It’s time for the fashion industry to resize. The fashion consumption of the wealthiest people in the wealthiest countries demands attention: ill-fitting, unfair, and deeply out of fashion.

these authors

Lewis Akenji Managing Director Hot Academy. Andrew Simms is Institute for New MeteorologyCoordinator of Rapid Transformation Alliance and a writer. male: @andrewsimms; Telephone: @AndrewSimms_uk.

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