The Weekly Journal | Environment
By Gary Parkinson - March 20, 2022
LESS IS MORE:
How Sustainable Fashion Supports GHG Emissions Reductions
Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
Mhere’s something truly admirable about supporting homegrown products from businesses rooted in Canadian culture. We’ve all heard the “buy local,” “support local” mantras championed by local businesses and governments across the country, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic that forced so many of these places to close throughout lockdowns. Part of that Canadian resilient spirit lies in understanding the harmful effects of climate change. Canada is a vast, diverse country with beautiful ecological landscapes and amazing wildlife that are all worth preserving. That’s why it’s so important to adopt an environmentally friendly lifestyle in every way possible, including with the fashion we each choose to wear.
The fashion industry contributes 2.1 billion metric tonnes of greenhouse gases.
When thinking about large CO2 emissions polluters, the fashion industry likely isn’t top of mind. But it’s responsible for a larger share of emissions than most of us realize. According to a report from McKinsey & Company, the fashion industry emitted 2.1 billion metric tonnes of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in 2018, approximately 4 percent of total global GHG emissions.
The same report warns that the fashion industry must become more environmentally sustainable to ward off further ecological disasters. Global temperatures are projected to continue rising above the 1.5°C target that experts say must be maintained for the good of the planet. Those numbers have been repeatedly laid out by the United Nations, the Paris Climate Accord, and the most recent Glasgow Climate Change Conference.
Fashion must do its part to curb emissions in order to meet those targets. According to the McKinsey report, the fashion industry must curb GHG emissions by 1.1 billion metric tonnes by 2030 to help prevent global temperatures from rising to destructive levels.
Canadians can do our part by sporting sustainable fashion.
Canada, by and large, is a community-driven society. Whenever called upon to support communities and provinces, Canadians roll up their sleeves and come to the table ready to offer what support we can to help our fellow citizens.
These acts of generosity and purpose-driven intentions are even apparent in the apparel we wear. Following the COVID-19 pandemic, 70 percent of surveyed respondents said they are more aware of how current human activity threatens the environment. More importantly, 47 percent of Canadians said the social and environmental impact of fashion products has become a top influence on their decision to support certain brands. That sentiment for more sustainable fashion products is only expected to grow over time.
Environmental Careers Organization Canada (ECO) describes sustainable fashion as “fashion developed by companies that pay their workers a living wage; give them safe, healthy working conditions, and that monitors its environmental impact, taking care to use more sustainable materials and reduce resource use throughout their products’ life cycle.”
Basically, sustainable fashion is about supporting local businesses that invest in the ecological sustainability of their products, and that also provide financial support to their workers and communities.
Human and environmental benefits of sustainable fashion
So what are some of the benefits of supporting and sporting sustainable fashion products? If we were all to update our wardrobes with more environmentally friendly materials, we could make a collective positive step in the right direction towards protecting the environment.
Sustainable fashion reduces your personal carbon footprint
Many fashion items produced in traditional manufacturing outlets rely on petroleum and large amounts of fossil fuels to produce the products. These include products made with polyester, acrylic and nylon materials, which all use more energy throughout production than products built using natural or recycled materials.
By purchasing less of these items in favour of more sustainable fashion products, you can reduce your personal carbon footprint in support of a more sustainable future. In fact, The Nature Conservancy has created a carbon footprint calculator that you can use to modify your personal lifestyle to help reduce personal carbon emissions.
Sustainable fashion uses less water
The finishing touches on fashion items require plenty of water to make the products ready for sale. Cotton fashion products heavily rely on water to manufacture, and it can require up to 2,700 litres of water to produce a single cotton shirt. An example of a sustainable fashion product substitutes cotton for organic cotton, which is far less reliant on water to manufacture, dye, and finish. According to research published by Science Direct, organic cotton requires 91 percent less water consumption than traditional cotton. By purchasing more fashion items that use sustainable products to manufacture, you can do your personal part to help preserve the world’s water supply.
How to purchase sustainable fashion products
There are a number of ways you can shift your own fashion style towards more environmentally sustainable products. But why not go a step further by supporting a locally homegrown Canadian brand that is dedicated to providing economically and environmentally conscious fashion items in support of a growing green movement.
At Wolfe Co. Apparel & Goods, all of our products are manufactured by a talented group of local professionals. Everything is made in Canada, and our profits are reinvested in community driven causes that help support personal and environmental prosperity. Even our customer support lines are managed by the same group of advocates that put their blood, sweat, and tears into manufacturing our product lines right here at home.
Our mission is to make a difference for the good of future generations, and we encourage you to make an impact the next time you choose to buy a new fashion item. Want to chat more? Please connect with us using our LiveChat function 7 days a week from 9AM-9PM. You can also email us at email@example.com and we will get back to you as quickly as possible.