Rethinking the business model must respond to the unsustainability of fashion: EEB

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Only a radical overhaul of its business model can stem the fashion industry’s sustainability problem, according to a new report commissioned by European Environmental Bureau (EEB) it says that existing strategies to tackle unsustainability in fashion, such as the use of recycled materials in fast fashion or labeling schemes, do not challenge the industry’s problematic dominant business model.

The research comes amid growing skepticism about economic strategies rooted in growing gross domestic product (GDP) at all costs, and as the European Commission prepares to step up its efforts to regulate the textile sector through through a new sustainable development strategy.

The research, led by the Institute for Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology Sydney, makes the case for a shift in fashion beyond growth to a system where human and ecological health come first, says a press release from the EEB.

Only a radical overhaul of its business model can reduce the fashion industry’s sustainability problem, according to a new report commissioned by the European Environmental Bureau which indicates that existing strategies to tackle the unsustainability of fashion, such as the use of more recycled materials, stop short of challenging the industry’s problematic dominant business model. .

Using the concept of “welfare economics” – an umbrella term to describe alternative economic concepts of growth – the research identified four guiding principles for building a post-growth direction for the fashion industry so that it operates in the interest of the common good.

The first of these orientations is to establish limits to reduce the quantity produced and consumed in accordance with planetary limits. The second is to promote equity to ensure social justice on a global scale. The third is to create sound and fair governance to ensure that the transition is inclusive and participatory. And the fourth is to adopt new systems of exchange where clothing and textiles are provided in a way that does not depend on overproduction and overconsumption.

“We are all aware of the environmental impacts of the sector – carbon emissions, water pollution and the growing problem of textile and clothing waste – and we know only too well the poor social sustainability standards along the supply chain. supply. This is after years, even decades in some cases, of trying to address these issues. We urgently need to look at the sector in a new way. We need to shift the focus away from growth, the cause of the overproduction and consumption, towards well-being,” said Samantha Sharpe, research director at the Sydney institute.

Fibre2Fashion (DS) News Desk

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