Are you fashion fan? Then you are kind of mini polluter

H&M, Kering, and Inditex, and other fashion retailers said yesterday that they will buy over 500,000 tonnes of low-carbon alternative fibers. They will use it for clothing and packaging because they want to help reduce global emissions.

The announcement by 33 brands, printers, and producers coincides with the COP27 climate talks. Climate talks are being held in Egypt until the end of this week. The goal of the talks is to increase ambition in reducing global warming.

Fashion produces 10% of greenhouse gases

According to World Bank data, fashion accounts for about 10% of total greenhouse gas emissions. Even as temperatures this year reached record highs, global emissions have continued to rise.

According to a United Nations report released in October, emissions are expected to rise 10.6% from 2010 levels by 2030.

Retailers agreed to buy 550,000 tonnes of alternative fibers. Alternative fibers are made from waste textiles and agricultural residues rather than forest fibers. According to the NGO Canopy, which convened the group, each tonne of clothing produced using these alternative fibers will save between four and fifteen tonnes of carbon per tonne of product.

3.2 billion trees are felled yearly for the needs of clothing

Every year, over 3.2 billion trees are felled to make fiber for packaging and clothing. Canopy estimates that switching to low-carbon alternatives could save the industry nearly a gigatonne of CO2 emissions between now and 2030.

Canopy founder Nicole Rycroft stated that the change could kickstart the transition away from supply chains that rely on resources that end up in landfills. Besides, it would lid toward a more circular approach.

Lower carbon fibers account for a tiny fraction of the 7.5 million tonnes of man-made fibers produced each year. Rycroft attributes that to the difficulty of accessing finance to scale new technologies.

Fashion can be made by recycling… and recycling is fashionable

Moving toward more sustainable alternatives for our materials is critical to reducing our absolute emissions by 56% by 2030 and reaching net zero by 2040, according to Cecilia Stromblad Brannsten, H&M Group’s head of resource use and circular impact.

Canopy stated that the agreement will help to unlock financing for 10-20 low-footprint pulp mills to produce these alternative fibers by securing offtake agreements from retailers.

Inditex has pledged to use only sustainable cellulosic fibers by 2023.