The global fashion industry will on Monday draw on what it describes as its own “social and cultural weight” to lead the world into tackling climate change, using the stage of the United Nations COP25 conference in Madrid to announce its master plan for global self-sufficiency.
Retailers and industrial groups say they will expose the conclusions of the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action (Ficca), signed last year by 43 companies, in an effort to tackle critisism which sees the fashion industry accused of encouraging over-consumption, excessive waste generation, hazardous chemical use and worker exploitation.
It is estimated some 73 percent of textile fibers used to produce more than 100 billion garments each year around the world end up in landfill or incinerators after they have been used.
Iconic UK brand Burberry sparked a furor last year when it admitted it had destroyed almost $40 million worth of unsold goods on the simple premise that the items were no longer in fashion.
According to fashion journal MDS, the new fashion agreement includes reaching a carbon neutral economy by 2050, and reducing emissions by 30 percent until 2030. Ficca was signed in the previous Climate Change Conference in Katowice (Poland) and was supported by Inditex, Kering, Adidas, Burberry, H&M, Gap, Levi Strauss and Target, among others.
Monday’s presentation at the two-week climate conference in Madrid will see the conclusions of the seven focus groups: decarbonization pathway and GHG emission reductions; raw materials; manufacturing and energy; logistics (through Clean Cargo Group1); policy engagement; leveraging existing tools and initiatives and promoting broader climate action.
The rush by the fashion industry to join the climate debate comes just months after it was exposed as having a carbon impact bigger than the airline industry.
Now it wants to use the elite, globalist COP25 conference as the start of its own journey on the road to redemption.Kurt Zindulka
That could take some doing.
The apparel and footwear industries together accounted for more than eight percent of global climate impacts — the equivalent of 3,990 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2016, according to a report from Quantis.
Total emissions related to textiles production are equal to 1.2 billion tons annually — more than those of all international flights and maritime shipping trips combined, according to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
In April fashion houses in New York were condemned for the monumental amounts of waste they generate every year in the form of discarded, unused fabric as well as clothes that are worn once and then discarded in the name of fashion.
Activists have also targeted the highly profitable “fast-fashion” industry, which churns out new low-cost garments daily or weekly to maximize sales volumes, calling on retailers to improve labor and environmental conditions at supplier factories in the impoverished developing world.
As Breitbart News reported, global fashion houses are infamous for seeking suppliers in countries such as China, Bangladesh, Egypt, Cambodia, Guatemala, India and Indonesia, which have massive problems with pollution as well as near non-existent labor laws.
In one of the world’s worst industrial accidents, more than 1,100 people died in April 2013 in the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh, where workers reportedly produced garments for Western retailers such as Walmart, Benetton and Joe Fresh.
The United States subsequently suspended trade privileges for Bangladesh out of concern for labor rights.