Fashion industry’s carbon emissions are on the rise ”Yale Climate Connections


When shopping for new clothes, you probably don’t think about the weather. But clothing manufacturing creates carbon pollution, and industry emissions are on the rise as people buy – and throw away – their clothes more frequently.

The problem is compounded by the rapid rise of fashion – clothes that are cheap to make and cheap to buy.

But Chendan Yan of the World Resources Institute says clothing companies are starting to take action on the climate.

“Many companies around the world set goals and then strive to achieve those goals,” she says.

Yan is the co-author of an article that can guide the industry. She says the biggest challenge is that clothing brands often outsource manufacturing to companies in other countries. These companies may depend on others for raw materials, making it difficult to measure and reduce carbon pollution.

“So what a lot of these brands are doing is educating and involving these vendors,” she says. “I think that’s what we want to see and we’re seeing more and more of it.”

For example, Levi-Strauss helps its suppliers obtain low-interest loans for renewable energy or efficiency projects. And Nike is helping manufacturers switch from fossil fuels to solar and biomass.

Yan says that as more suppliers get involved, it will help reduce carbon pollution throughout the industry.

Reporting Credit: Stephanie Manuzak / ChavoBart Digital Media.

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