The Fashion Industry’s Greenhouse Gas Challenge
The global fashion industry is a multi-trillion dollar industry, producing over 100 billion garments annually. Given its size and nature, the industry faces a number of social and environmental challenges. The key environmental challenges are complex and interrelated, but most broadly fall under: land use, water use, chemical use, biodiversity loss and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This paper focuses on the latter - GHG emissions. With the global average temperature projected to rise by, or even exceed, 3°C this century - well beyond the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement, drastically curbing industry GHG emissions is an unequivocal and necessary action that must be taken in order to limit global warming. The recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2021 report found that unless there is a rapid and large-scale reduction in GHG emissions, unprecedented in both speed of implementation and scale, limiting warming to 1.5°C will be beyond reach. Beyond the 1.5°C limit, the prevalence of extreme weather patterns will drastically increase and the effects will be catastrophic and irreversible.