Fashion Industry: Making A Sustainable Environment

The evolution of fashion has always come with social and environmental costs. Although its ecological influence in producing custom t-shirts and other fashionable items help reduce human rights and gender inequality issues to some degree, The experts says that the demand for a change to durable fashion is apparent. Many organizations worldwide are collaborating to address the issue with regard to the fashion economy and its environmental sustainability.

Fashion’s Cost To The Environment

It is evident that the fashion industry is helpful in the growth of the economy, with a high employment rate around the world and a value of $2.5 trillion. And the industry is continuously rising over the years.

However, the fashion industry’s success has brought attention to the increasingly negative impact on the environment that this sector should be in charge of. Around 10 percent of man-made pollution, carbon emissions, and dry water sources are due to fashion production. Moreover, 85 percent of their waste, like textiles, is thrown away every year. Washing various clothing materials can lead to a significant amount of microplastics being disposed of into the sea.

Fashion’s Environmental Footprint

Here are some examples of fashion’s environmental footprints from different organizations:

  • UNEP, 2019– Around 60 percent of the materials are from plastic.
  • UNEP, 2018– Dumping or burning of a garbage track with massive amounts of clothing each second.
  • UNEP, 2018 and Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 2017– Approximately 10 percent of man-made carbon emission is due to the fashion industry. And by 2050, this percentage can rise up to 26 percent if the fashion industry continues to do such practice.
  • Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 2017– Each year, around 500,000 tons of microplastics are being washed away into the sea.

Fashion’s Human Cost

The majority of fabric workers are women in third world countries and often get insufficient wages and work for more hours which is considered a severe violation of human rights. Another concern is that the chemical used in clothing production can lead to detrimental health problems for workers as well as for consumers. Also, you can count the pollution produced by this sector.

Thus, this industry’s social and environmental impact makes people concerned about fast fashion and addresses the urgency for sustainable business practices and models.

Collaboration Of International Organization For A Sustainable Fashion

Since the fashion industry is globalized and has a huge impact on achieving sustainability goals, international collaboration is crucial to promote sustainable fashion. Below are the goals set by different organizations worldwide:

  • Gender equality
  • Clean water and sanitation
  • Life underwater
  • Good health
  • Responsible consumption
  • Economic growth

International Cotton Day

Cotton is a widely used material for most clothes, such as custom T-shirts. An international organization decided to have a cotton day to commemorate the significance of cotton to people’s livelihood, economic growth, poverty alleviation, and international trade.

The celebration emphasizes the significance of sustainable and inclusive economic growth, productive employment, and good working conditions in the cotton sector. Also, ecologically sustainable cotton production is needed to limit too much consumption of water, pesticide use, water contamination, and pollution.


Indeed, the fashion industry significantly contributes to economic growth and development. Still, it comes with social and environmental costs that this industry needs to be responsible for. Sustainable fashion goals set by international organizations and governments are essential to shift into a more environmentally sustainable fashion.

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