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You must have heard that major fashion brands produce their clothes and garments in Bangladesh…now,
a welcome initiative is that many of these brands are supporting a new initiative to use recycled materials in producing their clothes. Wow!
Greenhouse gas emissions of the fashion industry
In the year 2018, the fashion industry’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions were over 2 billion tonnes, which needs to be halved by the year 2030 to be in line with global climate goals.
To achieve this reduction, a non-profit body Global Fashion Agenda (GFA) is pioneering this recycling scheme in Bangladesh.
GFA has introduced the Circular Fashion Partnership recycling program that has attracted more than 30 international brands – which includes prominent names like H&M, M&S, C&A, Bangladeshi recycling firms and garment manufacturers.
Their concept is simple: reuse textile waste from these clothing factories to produce new products.
Further, if this initiative is successful there are plans to replicate it in other garment-producing countries such as Indonesia and Vietnam, to help cut the broader fashion industry’s emissions.
GFA claims that reducing environmental impacts such as GHG emissions and circularity go hand in hand.
If successful, this partnership is expected to reduce carbon emissions from clothing production and demand for raw materials, which include fossil fuels, by cutting down the amount of waste and rather increasing the use of recycled materials.
Paris COP21 Climate Accord
We all would have heard of the Paris COP 21 Climate agreement of the year 2015.
About 200 countries committed to taking serious action to slash greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by the year 2050 and limit global average temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times.
In the year 2020 research by GFA and McKinsey & Company stated that the fashion industry produces 4% of global climate-warming emissions which is equal to the combined annual emissions of Britain, France and Germany put together.
Hence, they concluded that the fashion industry needs to intensify its efforts to align with the Paris Agreement goals to limit climate change.
In the year 2019, the United Nations Environment Program placed the fashion industry’s share of global carbon emissions at 10%- more than all international flights and maritime shipping combined and also said that this industry was the second biggest consumer of precious water! Wow!!
In the coming years, it would indeed be interesting to see the transition of the fashion industry from a linear unsustainable model of “take-make-dispose” toward a more circular approach!
Only time will tell what actually happens…