The movement for sustainable fashion may be a cross and patch across the world, but it is sewing a pattern in the Kingdom of the Netherlands-based largely on innovation.

A few hard facts:

  • An average article of clothing takes 100 pairs of human hands to make. All of those people's dreams and hopes are represented in your closet. 

  • Of the nearly 400 billion square metres of textiles produced each year, 60 billion square metres will be left on the cutting floor.

  • The world consumes about 80 billion new pieces of clothing every year. This is 400 per cent more than the amount we consumed just two decades ago. As new clothing comes into our lives, we also discard it at a shocking pace. (The True Cost)

  • In a typical wardrobe, one-third of the clothing has not been worn in one year.

  • Nearly 60 per cent of all clothing produced ends up being buried or in landfills within one year of being made.

  • According to Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the equivalent of one garbage truck of textiles is landfilled or burned every second. Textile production is a significant contributor to climate breakdown, emitting 1.2 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases annually-that's more than all international flights and maritime shipping combined. It further warns that unless the fashion industry changes its practices by 2050, it could use more than 26 per cent of the global carbon budget (which is the amount of greenhouse gases we can emit and still stay on a path to limit global warming to 2o C).

Much of these grim reminders shout out within the 110 year old historic premises of Fashion for Good-a global platform for innovation, made possible through collaboration and community, and a network of changemakers from around the world as they reimagine how fashion is designed, made, worn and reused-in the heart of Amsterdam.

As the world probes and explores what more needs to be done to minimise environmental pollution wrought by the fashion industry, the most densely populated country of the European Union-the Kingdom of the Netherlands-is quietly taking a lead as it promotes and supports brands that put sustainability at the forefront.

The Dutch garment and textiles sector is a €20 billion sector offering employment to 100,000 people in the Netherlands and 60,000 people in other countries working under contract to Dutch companies. It was in July 2016 that a broad coalition of businesses and other organisations signed the Dutch IRBC Agreement on Sustainable Garments and Textile, that aims to promote safety and equality for workers and prevent pollution and animal abuse in production countries.