Fast fashion is a big business, and if you buy clothes from a fast fashion brand, there is a chance that the materials and production process for your items will impact the environment. You may not know that the material that you are wearing has been derived from the production of other products, or that the garments may end up in landfills or as compost.
Materials used in fast fashion garments determine how it will be cared for and how it may be repurposed
The fast fashion industry is a driving force behind global clothing consumption. In the last fifteen years, it has grown by more than double. However, this growth has come at a cost.
This phenomenon has led to a huge glut of low-value clothing that threatens to overwhelm trade economics. And while the industry is doing its part to combat waste, the solution lies on a much more personal level. Changing your buying habits, and getting your clothes to last, is the only way to truly change the system.
It’s no secret that the fashion industry has a serious impact on the environment. The carbon emissions produced by the industry alone surpass all international flights, and it accounts for more than 10% of global CO2 emissions.
Although the industry has made some progress in recent years, the biggest problem remains. Up to 70 percent of the textiles used in clothing production are still discarded. That’s more than 12.7 million tons of materials entering American landfills every year.
Human rights impact of fast fashion supply chains
Fast fashion supply chains can have a major impact on human rights. Many textile workers in developing countries are paid derisory wages and work long hours in appalling conditions. These companies also use chemicals and other toxic substances.
Investing in energy efficient technologies can help mitigate the impact of the industry. Also, investing in recycled inputs can reduce emissions created during the manufacturing process.
The fashion industry has a variety of impacts, including gender inequality and pollution. The industry is estimated to contribute around one-half of the global emissions.
The best way to protect workers and consumers is to engage with all relevant stakeholders. This includes upstream and downstream stakeholders and consumer groups. It also means taking the time to consider the best ways to incorporate sustainable practices into the product design and manufacturing processes.
One of the first steps a fast fashion brand can take is to reevaluate its raw materials. Most garments are manufactured from petroleum-based synthetic materials such as polyester and nylon.
SSCM reporting of fast fashion industry leader, H&M
SSCM reporting is a crucial tool for fashion brands to reduce their environmental footprint. However, the industry has failed to adequately engage with stakeholders. Rather, the focus is on short-term benefits. While there are a few companies that have stepped up to the plate, the majority still have plenty of room for improvement.
For instance, one of the most popular brands in the industry, H&M, has a sustainability scorecard prominently displayed on its in-store signage and online marketing. The company is also an active participant in many networking and corporate social responsibility initiatives.
In addition to its sustainability scorecard, H&M has been making several other commitments to become more environmentally friendly. Its Green Fashion Initiative aims to cut emissions across its value chain, and it has also signed an agreement to eliminate plastic waste and pollution.
H&M has also started research on textiles derived from organic materials. They have also joined the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, an industry group dedicated to addressing sustainability in the fashion industry.
SSCM reporting of self-proclaimed ethical brand, Everlane
Everlane is a brand that has taken a lot of media attention for its ethical manufacturing practices. It began as an online-only company, but has since evolved into a brand that provides products manufactured by partners. The company has a number of sustainable and ethical standards that suppliers must comply with.
For example, Everlane requires all suppliers to undergo a series of audits. They must also meet Everlane’s own code of conduct. However, this code does not require the company to pay living wages or other wages that are fair to workers.
In addition, Everlane has been accused of using plastics in its clothing. It has also been criticized for its treatment of employees of color. While the company has made significant improvements in its sustainability efforts, it still has a long way to go.
Although Everlane’s sustainability efforts include science-based targets for carbon emissions, water use, and energy use, the company does not provide specific figures about its supplier’s carbon emissions and waste. This is a major weakness when it comes to SSCM reporting.