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UN Alliance for Sustainable Fashion addresses fast fashion

19
Mar '19
Pic: UN Environment
Pic: UN Environment
The UN Alliance for Sustainable Fashion, launched recently at the UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi, is seeking to halt the environmentally and socially destructive practices of fashion and harness the industry as a driver for improving ecosystems. The event hosted a series of pop-up fashion installations with guest appearances from UN goodwill ambassadors.

The fashion industry is the second-biggest consumer of water, generating around 20 per cent of the world’s wastewater and annually releasing half a million tonnes of synthetic microfibres into the ocean. The average consumer buys 60 per cent more pieces of clothing than 15 years ago. Each item is only kept for half as long.

The alliance is improving collaboration among UN agencies by analysing their efforts in making fashion sustainable, identifying solutions and gaps in their actions, and presenting these findings to governments to trigger policy, according to a press release from UN Environment.

The event hosted a series of ‘instastories’ from 10-20 key players in sustainability, each explaining their vision for the future of environmentally-friendly fashion.

The alliance utilises the convening power of the United Nations to bring key fashion players to the table. It creates a common platform and dialogue for a host of UN agencies that are working to make fashion sustainable.

The Food and Agricultural Organisation is promoting Blue Fashion, which uses sustainable marine materials and protects arable land; the International Trade Centre has set-up the Ethical Fashion Initiative to spotlight artisans from the developing world; and UN Environment is pushing governments to foster sustainable manufacturing practices.

The fashion industry is valued at around $2.4 trillion and employs over 75 million people worldwide. It loses about $500 billion of value every year due to the lack of recycling and clothes that are thrown into landfill before ever being sold.

The industry accounts for a staggering 8-10 per cent of global carbon emissions, more than all international flights and maritime shipping combined. The industry is responsible for 24 percent of insecticides and 11 percent of pesticides. (DS)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India


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