This session specifically focuses on the beauty and fashion industries and will look at how they are directly affecting the environment, and how they can develop a more sustainable future.
Maakola will be joined by leading voices in the industries to discuss the following questions:
- How can we develop a common understanding of sustainability in fashion and beauty?
- What are the parameters against which we should be measuring the sustainability of our fashion and beauty habits?
- How could the current crisis catalyze a change in the fashion and beauty industries towards more sustainable practices?
- Addressing the Sustainable Development Goals 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, and 15 and how they can be achieved
Can Fashion And Beauty Ever Be Sustainable?
The fashion industry is the third-largest manufacturing sector globally. The value chain employs 75 million people and the fashion industry is valued at USD 2.5 trillion. The beauty industry isn’t far behind, as it continues to grow steadily and is valued at over USD 500 billion.
But these powerhouse industries aren’t just responsible for how we dress and look, they are also responsible for being two of the biggest polluters in the world.
The Problem With Fashion Is…
Sustainability is an issue at every stage of the fashion supply chain. Due to the inexpensiveness to make and buy, synthetic fabrics such as polyester are still favored over natural textiles like cotton. Cotton and other similar natural fabrics are biodegradable, unlike their synthetic counterparts.
It’s not just what clothes are made from that can cause a problem, but how they are produced. For example, did you know:
The UNEP estimates that it takes 3781 liters of water to make a single pair of jeans?
From the dyeing process to the way garments are treated, the water wastage equates to 20% of wastewater worldwide.
The fashion supply chain also poses a huge problem. The fragmented reality means that each piece of clothing is often transported to various locations for treatment, manufacturing, packaging, and more before it even reaches its final destination; being purchased by the consumer.
The fashion industry is estimated to be responsible for 10 percent of global carbon emissions, more than international air travel or maritime transport.
This fast-fashion business leads to overconsumption, waste, and a massive impact on the environment. Our fashion footprint just continues to get bigger. Fashion companies are also discarding huge amounts of unsold stock, which heads straight to landfills or is incinerated.
People are buying more — thanks to the cheapness of the clothing — but are also discarding more. The lifespan of our clothing is simply shrinking as our consumption is growing.
How we care for our clothes can also have a huge impact. When washing synthetic fabrics, the microfibers enter the water stream and head straight to our oceans. These are estimated to account for 15 to 30 percent of plastics found in the oceans.
In our opinion, being unstainable is so last season!
The Problem With Beauty Is…
The toxins and chemicals from personal products and beauty and skincare products get washed into the rivers and oceans, at a large cost to marine life.
Plastic microbeads — although now banned in the USA and UK — end up in waterways, and get consumed by fish and other marine animals. The toxins excreted from the plastic end up in the soil, which can have a detrimental effect on both livestock and the agriculture industry.
Discarded plastic packaging ends up in landfills and unsustainable farming practices, such as the mass harvesting of palm oil, are significantly accelerating deforestation.
Pardon the pun — but it’s not a pretty picture.
It’s Time To Be Consciously Beautiful
Join us at Conscious Beauty as we seek ways to make the fashion and beauty industries truly sustainable. The world is waking up to climate change and the impact it is having on our planet. Although the industries have been slow to react, we will be discussing what sustainability in fashion and beauty really means.
Conscious Beauty will feature leading voices including:
- Alpa Shah, Economist
- Colette Grosscurt — Responsible Investment Officer ACTIAM
- Alessandra Ciccotosto — Marketing manager @ Oway
- Lisa Morales-Hellebo — Co-Founder & GP at REFASHIOND Ventures
The event will be live-streamed on Tuesday 22nd September at 10am EDT. You can RSVP your place by clicking here. Join the discussion and be part of the solution.