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Your personal carbon footprint: why is it important?

Fashion has clearly had a tremendous impact on the planet. The processes in the industry, ranging from fabric and garment manufacturing to cultivation of raw materials, related activities such as logistics, and consumer usage from washing to discarding items - all these stages adversely affect the environment.  To quantify fashion's ecological footprint, one needs to have a definitive way. This proves to be difficult as different data sources present different parameters. It is nevertheless a worthwhile task as it gives a sobering understanding of how far fashion is affecting the planet and how urgently it needs to change. If current trends continue, the environmental impact of the fashion industry could cost €100 billion per year in lost value creation by 2030.

According to a Fashion Industry report in 2017, if current trends continue, the fashion industry's environmental impact will increment - growing by 50% by 2030 and can potentially cost the world thousands of billions of dollars.

So great and complicated are these impacts, their unmonitored consequences could leave countries facing dilemmas over whether to use scarce resource for sustaining human life or supplying the industry. 


The swift rise of the business of fast fashion; transforming new collections at lower prices to encourage consumption especially is proving to be toxic for the environment. Direct systems use large quantities of fossil-fuel resources, and more than half of these styles get tossed within a year, according to a McKinsey's 2016 report.

The apparel and footwear industries together account for more than 8 per cent of global climate impacts. The total greenhouse gas emissions related to production of textiles are equal to 1.2 billion tons annually. This is much more than those of all international flights and maritime shipping trips consolidated. A scary figure, huh? These challenges aren't unbeatable. Indeed, the crisis at hand outlines an opportunity for industry players do what they do best: be creative to find solutions!


Although reducing energy today has become a trend of sorts, measuring your carbon footprint will also include recycling. According to a study by Carbon Footprint (a carbon management business), when things are not recycled, you are in essence wasting all the resources that were used in making and transporting new items. This would mean that recycling and reuse would allow less energy that is used in making and transporting new items. In turn, lesser fossil fuels are being used. Thus, if you are not recycling, you increase your greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to climate change.


There are many ways to fight climate change by reducing your carbon footprint. Firstly, you can recycle and use less electricity and choose to use public transportation. In addition to these lifestyle changes by reducing your carbon footprint, many companies are now allowing you to buy credits that neutralize your carbon usage. In fact this movement has become popular with many commercial companies. A carbon credit is a dollar amount that will go to offsetting carbon emissions. Companies and individuals buy these credits through environmental improvement agencies, who are dedicated to ensuring that you buy credits from reputable organisations in order to make sure that you are reducing your carbon footprint properly.

Published by: Vibhuti Vazirani/ 2024-02-29

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