Climate action in fashion: Big clothing brands back Bangladesh recycling scheme
Major fashion brands, including H&M, M&S and C&A, are getting behind an initiative in Bangladesh that aims to use more recycled materials in clothing production and significantly cut planet-heating emissions from manufacturing by 2030.
The Circular Fashion Partnership, announced this week, brings together more than 30 international brands, Bangladeshi recycling firms and garment manufacturers in a push to reuse textile waste from clothing factories to create new products.
If successful, the initiative could be replicated in other countries, such as Indonesia and Vietnam, and help cut the broader fashion industry's emissions, said the Global Fashion Agenda (GFA), a nonprofit body that is leading the new scheme.
In 2018, the sector's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions were just over 2 billion tonnes, a figure that needs to be halved by 2030, to be in line with global climate goals, said the GFA.
"Reducing environmental impacts such as GHG emissions and circularity go hand in hand," said GFA spokeswoman Alice Roberta Taylor in e-mailed comments.
The partnership would cut carbon emissions from clothing production and demand for raw materials, which include fossil fuels, by slimming down the amount of waste and increasing the use of recycled materials over virgin materials, she noted.
Under the 2015 Paris climate accord, nearly 200 countries agreed to slash greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by mid-century and limit global average temperature rise to "well below" 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial times.
According to 2020 research by the GFA and McKinsey & Company, the fashion industry produces 4% of global climate-warming emissions - equal to the combined annual emissions of France, Germany and Britain - and needs to intensify its efforts to align with the Paris Agreement goals to curb climate change.
The U.N. Environment Programme in 2019 put the fashion industry's share of global carbon emissions at 10% - more than all international flights and maritime shipping combined - and said it was the second-biggest consumer of water.
Bangladesh - a low-lying nation considered highly vulnerable to climate change impacts such as intensifying floods, storms and sea level rise - is the world's second-largest producer of clothes and its economy depends heavily on the garment industry.
But most waste from the industry is either exported or down-cycled for less valuable uses, said the GFA, adding the circular plan aims to change that by increasing the value of the waste.
Miran Ali, a director at the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, said it was time for the fashion industry to move away from a linear business model of "take-make-dispose" and towards a circular approach.
As Bangladeshi factories produce items in large volumes, their waste is standardised, making it relatively easy to deal with, he noted. "Therefore, Bangladesh can be a global leader in the area of circular economy," he said in a statement.
The Green Climate Fund, set up to help developing nations adopt clean energy and adapt to climate change, approved a separate project last year to help cut emissions in Bangladesh's garment sector by enabling more efficient energy use.
H&M, one of the Bangladesh industry's biggest clients, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation it is working on transforming its whole business to become "fully circular and climate positive."
To get there, the Swedish fashion chain's targets include making its supply chain "climate neutral" - meaning it does not contribute to global warming - and only using recycled or other sustainably sourced materials, both by 2030.
"As we move towards a business model based on a circular economy, our climate agenda is pushed. And we want to use our size and scale to make a difference," Cecilia Strömblad Brännsten, H&M Group's environmental sustainability manager, said by email. The Thomson Reuters Foundation is in a partnership with the Laudes Foundation, which is affiliated with the retailer C&A.
Enter your email to get our daily newsletter in your inbox
- ‘Ready Shetty Go’: Shilpa Shetty Kundra dolls up in a handcrafted red and white Bandhani shirt and skirt on Women’s Day 2021 to shoot for another episode of Super Dancer Chapter 4 and fans can’t stop swooning over her outfit of the day
- Janhvi Kapoor and Kriti Sanon were spotted during their casual day outs in Mumbai. Both the actors opted to wear similar outfits which included a basic top teamed with a pair of distressed denims. That is not all, they even went for similar accessories and were seen wearing black footwear and carrying tote bags. We are a fan of this casual look as well. What about you?
- Shraddha Kapoor shared pictures of herself looking like a dream in a gorgeous golden and blue lehenga choli set at the wedding ceremony of her cousin Priyaank Sharma with Shaza Morani. However, the stunning outfit was made by a brand that has been co-founded by her masi Padmini Kohlapure.
- Singham star Kajal Aggarwal makes jaws drop in awe as she remains at the top of her fashion game in a wine discharge print organza saree while looking forward to a grand release of Mosagallu and one of her highly anticipated movies of Tollywood, Acharya
- Priyanka Chopra recently shared an image of herself wearing a beautiful turtle-neck sweater. The special thing about it was that the jumper was knitted by the actor's mom, Madhu Chopra while she was staying in London.
- Want to make the traffic stop and bae go weak in the knees on your next date night? Take fashion cues from Parineeti Chopra’s latest smoking hot look for Marathi Filmfare Awards 2021’s red carpet, in a backless sequinned midi dress, which has set the mercury soaring like never before
- Athleisure has made its way into our wardrobes and it is here to stay. Celebrities also love a good lounge wear set which they can wear at home and also run last minute errands in. However, Disha Patani and Kiara Advani are giving athleisure a summer twist with bright and bold colours and we love it.
- Mouni Roy recently shared images from a new photo shoot wearing a gorgeous bright red kurta, ijaar pants and bandhani dupatta. She looked like a dreamy dulhan in the images. All the brides-to-be take note.
- Model and celebrity chef Chrissy Teigen made her desi fans extremely happy as she danced to the Varun Dhawan and Parineeti Chopra starrer Bollywood song Jaaneman Aah from the film Dishoom.
- Nora Fatehi has a collection of dresses that ranges from minis to everything you can think of. The fashionista, who is often snapped in a beautiful attire, loves a good dress and we always end up taking inspiration from her sartorial picks.
- The high-end fashion house Dolce&Gabbana had filed a defamation suit against an Instagram account in the Italian court in 2019 and are seeking USD 600 million in damages.
- Kangana Ranaut looked radiant in a pink anarkali kurta with full, churidar sleeves, a white churidar and a self printed white dupatta. The Queen actor's look is perfect for the blazing heat of Mumbai.