Yeesh: The Fashion Industry Is More Harmful to the Environment Than the Airline Industry

Though there’s still some dispute over exactly where the fashion industry falls on the World’s Worst Polluters power rankings, a recent CBS News story is reporting that it impacts the global climate more than “all international airline flights and maritime shipping trips combined.”

“The apparel and footwear industries together account for more than 8 percent of global climate impacts” the story said, generating what amounted to 3,990 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2016.

That’s not good, obviously. But, according to the story, the sustainability challenges facing the industry “aren’t insurmountable,” and many potential solutions are already starting to gain traction.

For starters, a number of new consignment and resale platforms have been extending the lives of garments that have “the quality and craftsmanship that make it possible for them to stay in circulation longer.”

There’s also a growing number of brands and designers using “responsibly sourced and recycled materials,” as well as offering credit for old clothes, like Stella McCartney, Eileen Fisher, Theory, and Patagonia.

And, new rental services can provide the closet — and Instagram feed — the same turnover gratification as fast fashion, but without production practices that turn manufacturing towns’ water supplies into variations on the I Made Queso meme.

All that said, “no single solution is the answer,” because “efforts to preserve the environment complement one another.” Makes sense.

You can read more about it at CBS.

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