Ways The Fashion Industry Impacts The Environment (And How Your Business Can Help)

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Starting your own business in fashion entails joining the already saturated industry. On the one hand, owning a fashion business is sure to be profitable. On the other hand, however, the fashion industry as a whole has a significant impact on the environment — and not always in a good way.

Not only is the fashion industry over-saturated, but it is also one of the most polluting industries in the world. In fact, the fashion industry is responsible for 10% of all greenhouse gas emissions. Most of these emissions come from the production of synthetic fibers (such as polyester and nylon), which require large amounts of energy and water. Furthermore, the fashion industry has a high level of unsold inventory, which often goes to landfill.

It can be disheartening to think about your business’s negative impact on the environment. However, there are ways to mitigate these effects. This article will discuss the top two ways the fashion industry impacts the environment and some ways your business can help reduce its impact.

High Carbon Footprint

The fashion industry has a high carbon footprint. This means that the fashion industry contributes a lot of greenhouse gases to the Earth’s atmosphere. These gases contribute to climate change, which is already causing major global problems.

The primary reason for the high carbon footprint of the fashion industry is its reliance on synthetic materials. Polyester, nylon, and other synthetic materials are made from petroleum, which is a fossil fuel. Fossil fuels release greenhouse gases when burned, and the fashion industry burns many of them.

In addition to burning fossil fuels to produce synthetic materials, the fashion industry also uses a lot of energy to power factories, store goods in warehouses, and transport clothing to retailers. All of this energy use creates greenhouse gases as well.

The fashion industry’s high carbon footprint has major environmental consequences. Climate change is causing the Earth to warm, leading to more extreme weather events, such as hurricanes, floods, and droughts. Climate change is also causing sea levels to rise, which will lead to coastal flooding.

High Levels of Unsold Inventory Means It’s Unsustainable

In today’s world, where looking good, dressing up, and following trends has become a norm, “fast fashion” has become one of the most popular types of fashion. This term describes clothing that is produced quickly and cheaply to be sold at a lower price.

While fast fashion may benefit your wallet, it’s not so good for the environment. The main problem with fast fashion is that it creates a lot of unsold inventory. In the United States alone, only 15% of all clothing is recycled, and roughly 85% ends up in landfills yearly.

In addition to taking up space in landfills, clothing waste also harms the environment through harmful gas emissions. When clothing decomposes, it releases methane, a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. Along with the emissions from producing the clothing in the first place, clothing wastes in landfills create a large environmental impact.

A pile of old clothes.

How Your Fashion Business Can Help

As a business owner, you have the opportunity to help make a difference. By being mindful of the ways the fashion industry affects the environment and making eco-friendly choices, you can help reduce your business’s impact.

Here are some ways to make your fashion business more sustainable:

Support Sustainable design

Sustainable design is about creating clothing that lasts longer and can be worn multiple times. This design takes into account the entire life cycle of a piece of clothing, from its production to its end of use. There are several ways to make your clothing more sustainable. Using high-quality fabrics, choosing simple designs, and avoiding trends are all great ways to create sustainable clothing.

Opt to Go Online

The digital age has created many opportunities for fashion businesses to go online. An online store requires less energy to run than a brick-and-mortar store. You can hire a team specializing in digital marketing and sales to help you build your business. Alternatively, if you are already tech-savvy, you can develop an e-commerce model for your business. Make sure to keep yourself in the loop by joining a reputable tech community, so you can put to practice the advances in technology as they happen. Joining an online community can help you learn about the latest e-commerce and fashion technology trends, which can give your business an advantage.

Reduce waste

One of the best ways to reduce your business’s environmental impact is to reduce waste. You can use eco-friendly packaging, recycle fabric scraps, and donate unsold inventory. By reducing waste, you’ll be able to minimize your business’s environmental impact and make a positive difference.

Final Words

The fashion industry has a significant impact on the environment. From its high carbon footprint to its reliance on synthetic materials, the fashion industry is one of the leading causes of climate change. As a business owner, you have the opportunity to help make a difference. By being eco-conscious and making sustainable choices, you can help reduce your business’s impact on the environment.

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