Can Regulation Transform Fashion? By Ruth MacGilp
The fashion industry contributes around 4% of all global greenhouse gas emissions and is the second highest risk category for modern slavery. What’s more, the industry employs an estimated 2.4 billion people, and in 2018, was valued at $1.4 trillion. So, as influential policymakers across the world turn their attention to climate change solutions at this year’s COP26, why isn’t fashion top of the agenda?
The truth is, brands alone can’t save us from the negative social and environmental impacts of fashion. While individual actions can make a huge difference in shifting market demand, consumers can’t save us either. There is a third party missing from the sustainable fashion conversation, and it’s arguably the most powerful: government. But up until recently, fashion has been left to self-regulate its supply chains and sign voluntary sustainability pacts without science-based targets or mechanisms for accountability.
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