In the last few days, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its most damning report, acting as the biggest wake-up call to individuals, corporations, governments, and countries across the globe. Regarded as a ‘Code Red’ for humanity, the report outlines the devastating, unequivocal impact that humans have had on the environment, and dire projections for the future if mitigation plans aren’t put in place today.
The report included some hard-hitting statistics that illustrate this damage. One such statistic was that 2,400 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) have been expelled into the atmosphere by humans, to date, with just 500 billion tonnes more being needed to give us only a 50/50 chance of keeping global temperatures under 1.5°C. Given that humanity emits approximately 40 billion tonnes every year, that gives us just 12.5 years to get back on track.
There’s no denying that this devastation has many causes, however, there are few areas of life that have had such a disastrous impact on the environment than fashion.
The fashion industry is the second biggest polluting industry after energy/fuel. Modern reliance on fast fashion has had largely unseen effects on our planet – until now. You only have to look at the likes of the Aral Sea, once the fourth-largest saltwater lake in the world, found between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, which is now only 25% of its original size as a direct result of climate change and intense irrigation.
A throwaway culture has been born out of the desire for mass fashion consumption, where apparel is only worn once then thrown away. Most shockingly, it was found that the average American disposes of approximately 80lbs of clothing each year, and the equivalent of 1 full garbage truck of textiles is wasted every second across the globe. (Stats: HuffingtonPost)
This needs to stop.
The truth is, innovation is now the only thing that can meet the scale of the crisis outlined in the IPCC report. Whilst reshoring fashion back in your own country is a step in the right direction, there is now no choice but to implement new, innovative technologies to accompany this move.
In her cover-story interview with Vogue Scandinavia, Greta Thunberg, a climate activist, spoke about how fast fashion has enabled a spiral of environmental decline. Thunberg discussed the theme of ‘greenwashing’, defined as the process where corporations promote themselves as hyper-sustainable and ethical, however, behind the scenes maintain a series of harmful, legacy processes that defy their corporate social responsibility.
For those brands that are keen to take such positive strides, that enable them to be transparent and environmentally conscious, there is only one solution – on-demand production.
On-demand is a simple-to-adopt and forward-looking solution that can put an end to fashion waste immediately. On-demand production enables you to produce your apparel lines only once they’ve been ordered by the end consumer. This means that there is no excess stock because the stock never existed in the first place.
Given that countries like China account for 1/4 of all the world’s global emissions, reshoring your production for local, on-demand, environmentally-focused fulfillment significantly reduces the amount of pollution generated from global transportation. This shorter, simpler supply chain increases profitability for both the manufacturer and the retailer, breaking the cycle of overproduction and reducing landfill and environmental pollution in compliance with UN sustainable development goals (SDG).
KornitX is the SaaS platform that empowers brands and retailers to remake the world of fashion. It puts a definitive end to unnecessary mass production, unethical practices and catapults your brand to the forefront of those looking to embrace new technology. Combined with the minimal environmental footprint of eco-friendly printing technologies, like that of Kornit Digital – who trailblaze waterless, clean print solutions – there has never been a stronger argument for brands to adopt on-demand.
Most recently, the self-proclaimed ‘planet-conscious clothing’ brand ‘Love Hero’ showcased an all-new sustainable look, made with Kornit technology.
Love Hero – Dark Nature Kimono. Printed with Kornit Digital’s zero water-waste technology.
Scientists can’t save the world. It’s down to everyone from our own individual changes to multi-national fashion corporations to do their bit. This isn’t and (shouldn’t) be a matter of putting profits first, it’s now a matter of putting life first. Brands need to become sustainability pioneers, give the world hope and action tangible decisions that will change fashion for good.