The fashion industry has a massive impact on the environment. The clothing we wear determines a lot about our overall sustainability and ethical responsibility. Extensive research and data on the fashion industry's environmental impact have highlighted the need for society to change its habits and non-governmental organizations to push for system change.
One such initiative, launched in March 2019 by the United Nations, is the Alliance for Sustainable Fashion. Here we highlight the need for such initiatives and the role they can take towards tackling climate change.
What does the Alliance for Sustainable Fashion do?
The alliance was founded to meet Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations, including sustainability protection on all three pillars – environmental, social, and economic.
Most of the alliance activities revolve around promoting projects and policies to help the fashion industry track Sustainable Development Goals throughout the whole supply chain. This means that the United Nations considers every stage of apparel production, from growing the crops used to produce natural materials to disposal.
- On an environmental level, the Alliance for Sustainable Fashion tackles the fashion industry's waste production, increasing carbon emissions, and water pollution caused locally and worldwide.
- Towards social sustainability, all workers involved in the supply chain should be treated fairly, rewarded with an adequate living wage, and provided with a safe workplace.
- From an economic standpoint, the alliance ensures that the workers in regions where garments are produced aren't exploited. Fashion brands' job opportunities should be worth having.
Why we need more initiatives like this?
We can do a lot on an individual level to decrease our clothing's environmental, social, and economic impact. However, for some changes, we need non-governmental organizations and initiatives to press for system change.
That's because although changing our habits can make a massive difference, not everyone can go out of their way to ensure the clothing they're buying is sustainable. Some people lack access to information, can't afford to make more sustainable choices, or are simply creatures of habit who feel the change would be daunting.
Initiatives such as the Alliance for Sustainable Fashion help us all make a change – no matter our resources, knowledge, or willingness to change. It changes the industry instead, making sure that brands sell more sustainable and ethical products.
If we want the world to be more sustainable, we need everyone to adopt the little changes, rather than just a few people going all the way.