Sustainability must be understood and de fi ned at

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Sustainability must be understood and de fi ned at the proper level. Sustainable development is often de fi ned as the simultaneous consideration of environmental protection, social well-being and equity and economic feasibility. In this section, we make an attempt to de fi ne sustainable clothing from the perspective of the clothing sector. As a starting point in understanding the environmental challenges, we use the popular and fairly recent descriptions and estimates of the planetary boundaries (Steffen et al. 2015 ). This framework was launched as a science-based (but naturally value-in fl uenced) approach to understanding global limitations of the ecosystem functions and the extent of human-induced pressures. By translating these boundaries to the clothing product level, we believe that the goal in terms of the environmental impact of the future clothing sector becomes understandable. For social well-being and equity, it is much harder to de fi ne boundaries in terms of the functioning and well-being of societies and individuals. We therefore rely on a qualitative discussion of goals recently agreed on a global level some of the sustainable development goals (SDGs). In terms of economic Table 8 Scenarios for production, consumer transport and laundry in the different countries: Sweden, USA and China Production Consumer transport Laundry Sum Production percentage (%) Laundry percentage Scenario A : 10 kg a year Sweden* 70 27 3 100 70 3 USA* 70 35 40 145 48 27 China 70 0 73 143 49 51 Scenario B : 5 kg a year Sweden 35 14 3 52 68 6 USA 35 18 40 92 38 43 China* 35 0 73 108 32 68 Scenario C : 3 kg a year Sweden 24 9 3 36 67 8 USA 24 12 40 75 32 53 China* 24 0 73 97 25 75 *current states Will Clothing Be Sustainable? Clarifying Sustainable Fashion 19
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feasibility, we adhere to more recent movements in the sustainable development discussion and view it as a tool rather than a goal in itself and to the idea of strong sustainability as we assume that there are limits to how different social, ecological, and economic foundations of our well-being are substitutable. For sure, the clothing sector would not choose a path that would not be economically feasible in the long term as the clothing sector, just as any business sector, is made up of organisms that are driven primarily (but not only) by economic values. Here, however, we want to focus on the goals for the clothing sector in terms of a safe and just operating space (Raworth 2012 ), which will be further described in Sect. 3.2 . 3.1 Sustaining Ecosystem Functioning Sustainability is often understood as a state of the planet in which we are not further diminishing the opportunities of current and future generations to meet their needs (World Commission on Environment and Development 1987 ). Among others, this can be interpreted as a state in which environmental degradation occurs at a rate that is slower than the rate at which nature can replenish itself and sustain a capacity to provide the ecosystem services needed by humanity. In the end, the notion of a sustainable state of the economy (not to be confused with a static state we assume
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  • Fall '19
  • Sustainable fashion, Sandra Roos

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