Ecological Footprint of your Clothes


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With the continually increasing textiles demand and population growth, the fashion industry’s carbon footprint will only continue to increase. The sector’s emissions are predicted to rise by more than 60% by 2030, if steps towards a sustainable fashion industry fails to happen now.

Setting an industry-wide renewable energy target at 60% by 2030 would encourage a 39% reduction of emissions, this can be infiltrated within the fashion industry worldwide. 

Hard coal and natural gas are heavily relied on in the textiles industry to generate electricity and heat for processing. Dominant manufacturing and distributing textile leading countries such as China, India and Bangladesh have heavily coal-based energy mixes. 

Dyeing processes in particular have a high energy demand because of the wet processes used, resulting in heating high amounts of water. Hard coal and natural gas share 60% to 70% of the climate change impacts in the dyeing and finishing stage of textile production. 

If in 2015, production of polyester for textiles-use resulted in more than 706 billion kg of CO2 - imagine what it will be now, in 2021 - with an increased demand from an increase in population and accessibility. 

According to estimates, 262% more CO2 is emitted to produce a single polyester T-shirt than a cotton shirt. Substituting polyester with its recyclable counterpart offers up to a 90% reduction of toxic substances, a 60% reduction in energy usage, and up to a 40% dip in emissions, says Pulse of the Fashion report 2018.

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