The fashion industry contributes around 5 per cent to the emission of greenhouse gases. To reduce its contribution in causing harm to the environment, some preventive measures have to be taken in this regard for sustainable future.

As the world is on the brink of facing dangerous climatic conditions, it is the duty of each and every industry to take back its share of sufferings it causes to environment. Though it is not literally possible, yet preventive measures can be taken in order to keep a check on pollution and plan further strategies to cut the greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050. The fashion industry is responsible for around 5 per cent of all the man-made greenhouse emissions.

In a first initiative to control greenhouse gas emissions, the Paris Agreement of 2016 was the historic move within the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change). The main aim of the agreement was to keep an eye on the worsening climatic changes and prevent global temperatures from rising to more than 1.5 degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Talking about this in terms of apparel industry, the process begins right from the production of crops to the consumption of the end product.

The synthetic materials such as polyester, nylon, etc. release millions of tonnes of CO2 (carbon dioxide) in the atmosphere. On the other hand, cotton which is an agricultural crop, has lower carbon footprint than that of the polyester. However, the pesticides and fertilisers used during the production of crop release N2O (nitrous oxide), a greenhouse gas which is 300 times more poisonous for the nature than CO2. After the raw material stage, the manufacturing, transporting, packaging and selling use energy that all add up to the emissions footprint. Not halting here, what happens to the garment during its lifetime is also a major concern as the fast fashion leaves the garment either in landfills or the incineration.

Achieving the net zero greenhouse gas emissions target by 2050 requires changes in the human activities. The following factors can help the clothing industry reverse its harmful practices, in comparison to the present scenario where the industry is creating news/headlines because of its limited contribution to the environment. The energy consumption across the value chain needs to be saved. Finding efficiencies at the transport and logistics can help. Switching to the organic fabrics and sustainable textiles such as coffee ground fabric, hemp, organic cotton, organic linen, pinatex, etc. will help in the longer run. Recycling the used garments rather than throwing them away into the landfill every year will also help. Many stores have the option of collecting the garments at the end of its life which is then recycled or resold. At the end, going back to the traditional standards of living is the only way ahead.

Author's Bio: 

Sonali Ahuja is the content contributor at Apparel Resources who writes about the latest news and updates of the apparel, fashion and textile industry. Her articles are based on the dynamics of changing fashion trends, real time apparel industry.