Everyone Knows Fashion Is Bad for the Planet, but No One Knows How Bad

While more and more brands are putting a greater emphasis on sustainability (or, at least, taking great pains to appear like they are), according to a recent piece by Business of Fashion, “misinformation and a lack of solid data” mean the fashion industry is still “flying blind when it comes to operating more responsibly.”

As the story explains, fashion “ranks among the world’s dirtiest sectors,” but because the “industry’s inner workings remain more-or-less a black box,” it’s impossible to understand the exact burden it’s placing on the planet. So, even as “more brands are signing onto global initiatives to reduce their footprint, many lack the information they need to pursue change effectively.”

Last year, for instance, a group of brands came together to “lay out an industry charter for climate action,” wherein they committed to “reduce the industry’s emissions by 30 percent,” which sounds great. But in order to achieve that end, they’ll actually need to figure out “what it is they’re reducing from” – a figure that still hasn’t been clearly defined.

Ultimately, as the article states, these types of “goals become meaningless if they aren’t eventually backed up by hard data to make it possible to measure progress.” And that hard data can’t simply be aggregated if fashion’s “opacity surrounding environmental impact” remains in place.

You can read more about it at BoF.

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