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Journal ArticleDOI

The environmental price of fast fashion

TL;DR: In this article, the authors identify the environmental impacts at critical points in the textile and fashion value chain, from production to consumption, focusing on water use, chemical pollution, CO2 emissions and textile waste.
Abstract: The fashion industry is facing increasing global scrutiny of its environmentally polluting supply chain operations. Despite the widely publicized environmental impacts, however, the industry continues to grow, in part due to the rise of fast fashion, which relies on cheap manufacturing, frequent consumption and short-lived garment use. In this Review, we identify the environmental impacts at critical points in the textile and fashion value chain, from production to consumption, focusing on water use, chemical pollution, CO2 emissions and textile waste. Impacts from the fashion industry include over 92 million tonnes of waste produced per year and 79 trillion litres of water consumed. On the basis of these environmental impacts, we outline the need for fundamental changes in the fashion business model, including a deceleration of manufacturing and the introduction of sustainable practices throughout the supply chain, as well a shift in consumer behaviour — namely, decreasing clothing purchases and increasing garment lifetimes. These changes stress the need for an urgent transition back to ‘slow’ fashion, minimizing and mitigating the detrimental environmental impacts, so as to improve the long-term sustainability of the fashion supply chain. The increase in clothing consumption, exemplified in fast fashion, has severe environmental consequences. This Review discusses the impacts of fashion on natural resources and the environment, and examines how technology, policy and consumer behaviour can mitigate the negative effects of the fashion industry.
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The fashion industry is one of the most wasteful consumer industries in the world as mentioned in this paper, and clothing has evolved from a durable good to a daily purchase in recent years, a framework for a more efficient, closed-loop economy has emerged as a key way forward in the transition to a more sustainable and less wasteful fashion industry.

95 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors discuss the different stages of the value chain for polyester clothing from the perspective of sustainability, describing current environmental challenges such as pollution from textile factory wastewater, and microfibers released from clothing during the laundry cycle.
Abstract: Clothing is one of the primary human needs, and the demand is met by the global production of thousands of tons of textile fibers, fabrics and garments every day. Polyester clothing manufactured from oil-based polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is the market leader. Conventional PET creates pollution along its entire value chain—during the production, use and end-of-life phases—and also contributes to the unsustainable depletion of resources. The consumption of PET garments thus compromises the quality of land, water and air, destroys ecosystems, and endangers human health. In this article, we discuss the different stages of the value chain for polyester clothing from the perspective of sustainability, describing current environmental challenges such as pollution from textile factory wastewater, and microfibers released from clothing during the laundry cycle. We also consider potential solutions such as enhanced reuse and recycling. Finally, we propose a series of recommendations that should be applied to polyester clothing at all stages along the value chain, offering the potential for meaningful and effective change to improve the environmental sustainability of polyester textiles on a global scale.

70 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the impact of strategic orientation in three dimensions, such as green entrepreneurial orientation (GEO), market orientation (MO), and knowledge management orientation (KMO), on the implementation of green supply chain management (GSCM) practices and subsequently sustainable firm performance was assessed.
Abstract: Ensuring sustainability through green supply chain management practices has become challenging for the textiles and garments industry. Organizations need to examine the factors of the firm’s sustainability performance and how to manage them strategically. Hence, the strategic organizational orientation can be the best approach for implementing green supply chain management (GSCM) practices to improve firm sustainability performance. This study aims to assess the impact of strategic orientation in three dimensions, such as green entrepreneurial orientation (GEO), market orientation (MO), and knowledge management orientation (KMO) on the implementation of green supply chain management (GSCM) practices and the subsequently sustainable firm performance. Data were gathered from an extensive scale survey of 266 respondents of textile manufacturing firms in Bangladesh. Data were analyzed in the structural equation model (SEM) with partial least squares techniques to justify the proposed hypotheses. The results reveal that GEO and MO have a significant positive effect on GSCM practices, affecting sustainable firm performance. Surprisingly, KMO does not have a positive impact on GSCM practices. Further, this study reveals that GSCM practices partially mediate the relationship between GEO and sustainable firm performance while MO and KMO partially mediate the relationship between GEO and GSCM practices. Overall, findings help textiles firm management comprehensively understand the implementation strategies of GSCM practices in operations and reconfigure accordingly in the competitive business environment while improving firm performances. This study is the first to investigate the effect of strategic orientation on GSCM practices implementation in the textiles industry from the context of an upstream operation with a comprehensive understanding of the factors while reducing environmental impact.

60 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors present the first application of Eora, a multiregional environmentally extended input output model, to the assessment of the impacts of clothing and footwear value chain.

52 citations


Cites background or result from "The environmental price of fast fas..."

  • ...…more recent estimates derived from environmentally extended input-output analysis (EEIOA) (Carbon Trust, 2011; Wood et al., 2018) are lower than the estimates based on traditional lifecycle assessment (LCA) process analysis (Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 2017; Niinimaki et al., 2020; Quantis, 2018)....

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  • ...…footwear, driven by rising wealth and consumption in developing nations, is a consequence of its conscious adoption of “fast fashion”, which has been defined as “a business model based on offering consumers frequent novelty in the form of low-priced, trend-led products” (Niinim€aki et al., 2020)....

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  • ...…of estimates of annual climate changing emissions, in descending order of scale, include: 4 Gt CO2-e (in 2016; Quantis 2018); 2.9 Gt CO2-e (in 2018; Niinimaki et al., 2020); 1.2 Gt CO2-e (in 2015; Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 2017); 1 Gt CO2-e (in 2011; Wood et al., 2018) and 0.3 Gt CO2-e (Carbon…...

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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, a systematic literature review was undertaken, consisting of bibliometric and content analysis of 91 articles published in peer-reviewed journals over a 10-year period, focusing on environmental sustainable practices in textile, apparel and fashion (TAF) industries.
Abstract: This paper reviews the literature on environmentally sustainable practices in textile, apparel and fashion (TAF) industries to allow the mapping of practices across various manufacturing processes and the development of a conceptual framework to guide investigation of the extent of sustainable practices in TAF industries from an environmental perspective.,A systematic literature review was undertaken, consisting of bibliometric and content analysis of 91 articles published in peer-reviewed journals over a 10-year period.,The inclusion of sustainable practices from all manufacturing stages in this review illustrates the diversity and complexities of environmental practices in TAF contexts. However, there is less research in developing country contexts, where most TAF production takes place and a paucity of research in upstream stages of garment washing and dyeing, and the manufacture of trims, accessories and packaging.,The focus is on environmental sustainability and upstream manufacturing processes. The review includes literature in the form of academic journal articles from selected databases during the period January 2010–June 2020.,This review provides academics with a unified depiction of environmentally sustainable practices to stimulate further scholarly research and provides guidance for managers to develop firm sustainability competency by summarising best practices at different manufacturing stages,This review comprehensively maps the academic literature on environmentally sustainable practices in TAF industries from an upstream manufacturing operations context. It highlights the contribution of scholarly study to the knowledge base on environmentally sustainable practices in TAF industries.

51 citations

References
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors proposed a new approach to global sustainability in which they define planetary boundaries within which they expect that humanity can operate safely. But the proposed concept of "planetary boundaries" lays the groundwork for shifting our approach to governance and management, away from the essentially sectoral analyses of limits to growth aimed at minimizing negative externalities, toward the estimation of the safe space for human development.
Abstract: Anthropogenic pressures on the Earth System have reached a scale where abrupt global environmental change can no longer be excluded. We propose a new approach to global sustainability in which we define planetary boundaries within which we expect that humanity can operate safely. Transgressing one or more planetary boundaries may be deleterious or even catastrophic due to the risk of crossing thresholds that will trigger non-linear, abrupt environmental change within continental- to planetary-scale systems. We have identified nine planetary boundaries and, drawing upon current scientific understanding, we propose quantifications for seven of them. These seven are climate change (CO2 concentration in the atmosphere <350 ppm and/or a maximum change of +1 W m-2 in radiative forcing); ocean acidification (mean surface seawater saturation state with respect to aragonite ≥ 80% of pre-industrial levels); stratospheric ozone (<5% reduction in O3 concentration from pre-industrial level of 290 Dobson Units); biogeochemical nitrogen (N) cycle (limit industrial and agricultural fixation of N2 to 35 Tg N yr-1) and phosphorus (P) cycle (annual P inflow to oceans not to exceed 10 times the natural background weathering of P); global freshwater use (<4000 km3 yr-1 of consumptive use of runoff resources); land system change (<15% of the ice-free land surface under cropland); and the rate at which biological diversity is lost (annual rate of <10 extinctions per million species). The two additional planetary boundaries for which we have not yet been able to determine a boundary level are chemical pollution and atmospheric aerosol loading. We estimate that humanity has already transgressed three planetary boundaries: for climate change, rate of biodiversity loss, and changes to the global nitrogen cycle. Planetary boundaries are interdependent, because transgressing one may both shift the position of other boundaries or cause them to be transgressed. The social impacts of transgressing boundaries will be a function of the social-ecological resilience of the affected societies. Our proposed boundaries are rough, first estimates only, surrounded by large uncertainties and knowledge gaps. Filling these gaps will require major advancements in Earth System and resilience science. The proposed concept of "planetary boundaries" lays the groundwork for shifting our approach to governance and management, away from the essentially sectoral analyses of limits to growth aimed at minimizing negative externalities, toward the estimation of the safe space for human development. Planetary boundaries define, as it were, the boundaries of the "planetary playing field" for humanity if we want to be sure of avoiding major human-induced environmental change on a global scale.

4,771 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This article conducted an extensive literature review, employing bibliometric analysis and snowballing techniques to investigate the state of the art in the field and synthesise the similarities, differences and relationships between both terms.

3,508 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, a framework of strategies to guide designers and business strategists in the move from a linear to a circular economy is developed, where the terminology of slowing, closing, and narrowing resource loops is introduced.
Abstract: The transition within business from a linear to a circular economy brings with it a range of practical challenges for companies. The following question is addressed: What are the product design and business model strategies for companies that want to move to a circular economy model? This paper develops a framework of strategies to guide designers and business strategists in the move from a linear to a circular economy. Building on Stahel, the terminology of slowing, closing, and narrowing resource loops is introduced. A list of product design strategies, business model strategies, and examples for key decision-makers in businesses is introduced, to facilitate the move to a circular economy. This framework also opens up a future research agenda for the circular economy.

1,702 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The presence of sulphur, naphthol, vat dyes, nitrates, acetic acid, soaps, enzymes chromium compounds and heavy metals all collectively make the textile effluent highly toxic.
Abstract: Color is the main attraction of any fabric. No matter how excellent its constitution, if unsuitably colored it is bound to be a failure as a commercial fabric. Manufacture and use of synthetic dyes for fabric dyeing has therefore become a massive industry today. In fact the art of applying color to fabric has been known to mankind since 3500 BC. WH Perkins in 1856 discovered the use of synthetic dyes. Synthetic dyes have provided a wide range of colorfast, bright hues. However their toxic nature has become a cause of grave concern to environmentalists. Use of synthetic dyes has an adverse effect on all forms of life. Presence of sulphur, naphthol, vat dyes, nitrates, acetic acid, soaps, enzymes chromium compounds and heavy metals like copper, arsenic, lead, cad- mium, mercury, nickel, and cobalt and certain auxiliary chemicals all collectively make the textile effluent highly toxic. Other harmful chemicals present in the water may be formaldehyde based dye fixing agents, chlorinated stain removers, hydro carbon based softeners, non bio degradable dyeing chemicals. These organic materials react with many disinfectants especially chlorine and form by products (DBP’S) that are often carcinogenic and therefore undesirable. Many of these show allergic reactions. The colloidal matter present along with colors and oily scum increases the turbidity, gives the water a bad appearance and foul smell and prevents the penetration of sunlight necessary for the process of photosynthesis. This in turn interferes with the Oxygen transfer mechanism at air water interface which in turn interferes with marine life and self purification process of water. This effluent if allowed to flow in the fields’ clogs the pores of the soil resulting in loss of soil productivity. If allowed to flow in drains and rivers it effects the quality of drinking water in hand pumps making it unfit for human consumption. It is important to remove these pollutants from the waste waters before their final disposal.

889 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors assess the water footprint of worldwide cotton consumption, identifying both the location and the character of the impacts of cotton consumption on the water resources in the countries where cotton is grown and processed.

680 citations


"The environmental price of fast fas..." refers methods in this paper

  • ...7 m(3) in the unweighted full-water footprint of Chapagain et al.(41) to 26 m(3) equivalent when weighted using the AWAre method(42) and scaled for this article....

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Trending Questions (3)
What is the extent of the environmental impact of fast fashion on developing countries?

The provided paper does not specifically mention the extent of the environmental impact of fast fashion on developing countries.

What are the negative impacts of fast fashion and green washing?

The paper does not mention the term "green washing" or its negative impacts. The paper discusses the negative impacts of fast fashion, including water use, chemical pollution, CO2 emissions, and textile waste.

What are the main water impacts of the fashion industry?

The main water impacts of the fashion industry include the consumption of 79 trillion litres of water per year.