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UN Sustainability Fashion: All You Need To Know About It
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UN Sustainability Fashion: All You Need To Know About It

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Summary: The UN sustainability measures are driven by 17 goals that have been adopted by all member countries. The fashion industry is one of the major polluters and contributors to the carbon footprint. Here is how the UN sustainable development goals, which have a 2030 deadline, will impact the industry. 

The fashion industry is among the top 5 global polluters of the atmosphere and the earth’s marine ecosystems. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2030 prescribe a phasing of manufacturing practices and consumer behavior that are responsible for global warming and the destruction of the natural animal, oceanic, and plant habitats. The fashion industry is now at the center of this sustainability mission and needs to be aware of and take proactive measures to abide by it before time runs out. 

No More Greenwashing, Industry has to Come Clean on Sustainable Fashion 

The UN deadline of 2030 has become a bellwether for sustainable fashion. The fashion industry needs to reinvent itself to conform to the UN sustainability program. This has to be dressed in two ways. The first one is making changes in the processes that impact manufacturing. The second one is introducing initiatives that trigger behavioral changes in the end user, the community, and the industry as a whole. Let us take a closer look at both roles the industry has to play.

The UN Goals that Demand Changes in Manufacturing Process   

Here are the five changes in manufacturing that addresses key goals of UN sustainability.

  • Fair-trade policy and wage reformation: Several brands like Patagonia and Outerknown have signed on to fair trade practices and deal with suppliers who offer fair and minimum wages to their employees. This one step takes care of UN goals 1–8 that stress sustainable and affordable living with quality health and education.  
  • Ethical sourcing and reduced dependence on synthetic fibers: According to a report, 60% of clothing fabrics are made of synthetic fiber sourced from fossil fuels. The industry needs to encourage natural fibers that help fulfill UN sustainability goals 9, 12, 14, and 15 for climate action and sustainable cities.
  • Energy-efficient and water-conserving processes: Manufacturing a single shirt uses up to 3,000 liters of water. The industry needs to recycle water and reduce waste in production. The UN goals from 9 to 15 demand clean water resources as a part of the climate action plan and conserving life on land and in water.
  • Reduced dependence on fossil fuels: Down to Earth states that the industry contributes to 10% of the total carbon emissions in the whole world. It creates a climate-negative production cycle. By switching to renewable energy sources, UN goals 7, 11, and 13, which demand clean energy usage for sustainable cities and climate action, are taken care of. 
  • Phasing out plastics and incorporating green packaging:  Phasing out plastics and polyethylene is directly linked to the sustainability plan for climate action covered in goals 11 through 15. 

Industry Initiatives to Induce Behavioral Changes for a Mass Movement 

The UN sustainability program is also about community-centric efforts. Here is how industries can involve customers and stakeholders to make green fashion a mass movement.

  • Encouraging slow fashion: According to Bloomberg, the US discards 11 million tons of textile waste annually. Specialized and recycled products and capsule closets with versatile all-purpose clothing promote slow fashion and UN goals through 9,12, 13, 14 and 15  for responsible production and consumption. 
  • Promoting worn-wear and second-hand clothing: Several brands have already started opening worn-wear outlets. This extends the life of apparel and reduces textile waste at landfills. It fulfills all the sustainability goals listed above.
  • Taking up community building measures: Measures like reducing the pay gap between the genders and building schools and hospitals help fulfill UN goals from 1-5 and 8-12. These goals focus on gender equality and reducing inequality and poverty. 
  • Protecting natural habitats with innovation and traditional techniques: Bioplastics, recycling and compostable technology, and renewable sources of energy have to be adopted alongside ethically sourced fibers. These efforts take care of UN sustainability goals of 13-15 centric to climate action and conservation of life.    
  • Making cities and natural ecosystems sustainable: Fashion brands have to take a holistic view of sustainability rather than just adopt green manufacturing processes. Adopting these sets of measures takes care of at least 12 of the 17 sustainability goals.   

What it Means to Wear a Sustainable Fashion Tag

The UN sustainability goals have forced the fashion industry to address the elephant in the room. As one of the major polluters, the industry has been overlooking the ill effects of fast fashion and contributing to a climate-negative manufacturing process. With goals staring in its face, the industry now has to adopt sustainable fashion. This transformation is not only limited to the eco-friendly manufacturing process but also covers a company’s wage policy, gender rights, and responsibility toward the local community.

Key Takeaways

  • The UN sustainability goals come with a 2030 deadline. The fashion industry now has to abide by these goals. 
  • A fashion brand can introduce sustainable processes in manufacturing such as reducing dependence on fossil fuels and artificial fibers and water wastage. 
  • It can take up community-centric initiatives that induce behavioral changes, such as promoting organic fashion, adopting a fair-wage policy, and ethically sourcing fibers. 

As a clothing brand, you would want to adopt sustainable practices. Fashinza is here to help you. You can get access to our network of global suppliers who can provide you with ethically sourced fibers, eco-friendly yarns, and green packaging materials.

Drop us a text for leads on sustainable fashion. 

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