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Unformatted text preview: A r e v i e w o f t h e s u s t a i n a b i l i t y i m p a c t s o f t h e c l o t h i n g i n d u s t r y M a r c h 2 7 f a s h i o n i n g s u s t a i n a b i l i t y 2 At Forum For The Future we work with forward-looking organisations on sustainable development. The main focus of our work is on finding innovative solutions. However, first it is critical to understand the issues. This report is intended as a first point of call for anyone wanting to know about the social and environmental impacts of the clothing industry. It is a comprehensive overview rather than a detailed analysis, but will point you in the direction of more in depth information. Sustainability challenges in the clothing industry are not new. There has been a flurry of media attention around fair trade fashion and a number of new niche clothing labels emerging. But to make sustainable clothing mainstream there are some overarching aspects of the industry that need to be tackled. We have identified eight key issues: 1 Fashion consumption the increasing number of fashion items that we buy and then dispose of. 2 The intensity of cotton production requiring lots of energy, water and pesticides. 3 Working conditions across the supply chain from cotton production to sweatshops. 4 Energy consumed when we are washing our clothes contributes to climate change. 5 Chemicals in the working environment can be toxic and damage workers health and the local environment. 6 Unsustainable man-made fibres can take longer to degrade in landfill sites. 7 Fashion miles that burn carbon as fabric and clothing are transported around the world. 8 Animal welfare ensuring that good standards are upheld during leather and wool production, and avoiding fur. Throughout this report we highlight ways forward towards sustainable fashion. The sustainable garment of the future would be designed carefully and made from renewable material. It would be pesticide free and produced by workers in decent working conditions. It would washed at low temperatures and have fashion upgrades to extend its fashionable life. Finally it would be recycled, reused or composted. To make this vision a reality all the industry players need to act, including the consumer. The headlines for action are: Raising awareness amongst key industry players. There needs to be a shared understanding within the industry of the whole picture the breadth of sustainability issues that need to be addressed. Transparent supply chains are a must. Brands and retailers need to be able to trace the origins of their stock. This will ensure they can enforce high standards of sustainability. International standards need to be developed and enforced. This will help create a level playing field so that brands and retailers can differentiate on other issues for example fabrics used, design and responsible practice....
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This note was uploaded on 09/29/2011 for the course BUS 682 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '11 term at S.F. State.
- Spring '11