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Brief Published: 17 Jan 2020

How is Fashion Reducing its CO2 Output?


From clothing shipments for photoshoots, to the delivery of online purchases (and the subsequent returns), numerous sectors of the fashion industry rely heavily on delivery and shipment services for the everyday running of their businesses. Here, we highlight the brands taking effective and innovative steps towards reducing their carbon footprints.

In order to highlight the impact of shipping and logistics in the fashion industry, courier service DHL is co-hosting a sustainable fashion show at JFK airport next month with show producer Jessica Minh Anh, which will feature a roster of up-and-coming sustainable brands. DHL itself has also pledged to increase its carbon efficiency by 50% by 2025, and is increasing its number of green logistics solutions (such as bicycles and alternatively fuelled vehicles). This reflects a wider need in the industry to reduce CO2 emissions caused by frequent shipments and travel, and for brands to become more sustainably minded, aside from just ethical-material sourcing and clothing production. 

Vogue Italia’s January 2020 issue published illustrations in lieu of the regular photographs, with editor-in-chief Emanuele Farneti citing the hugely detrimental environmental impact of photoshoot production as a leading factor in the decision. According to Farneti, the making of its September 2019 issue, which entailed “about 20 flights, and a dozen or so train journeys. Forty cars on standby. Sixty international deliveries,” influenced the decision to create an illustration-only edition, which didn’t require anyone to travel or for any clothing or equipment to be shipped.

It is important for fashion brands to consider a more holistic approach to sustainability, and to think more broadly about the ways in which their business could operate in a more conscious way. For more on fashion’s sustainable initiatives, see our most recent Sustainability Round-Up as well as Leveraging Longer Product Life and The Wealth in Waste from our Macro Trend Towards Our Sustainable Future.

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