COP27 Impact on the Fashion and Textile Industries

COP27 Impact on the Fashion and Textile Industries

COP27 Impact on the Fashion and Textile Industries 1494 868 NTX

As a company that from our inception has been focused on helping transform the textile industry into one that will leave this world in better shape for future generations, we’ve kept a close eye on textile and fashion related headlines coming out of the COP27 summit. We would like to share a round up of some of the headlines that caught our attention:

Breakthrough – Rich Countries Agree to Pay for Climate Damages in Developing Nations

Perhaps the biggest news coming out of this year’s COP27 summit is that after a stalemate of over 30 years, the UN has come up with an agreement to help pay developing nations for the loss and damage caused by global warming. After decades of rich nations digging in their heels and trying to avoid the responsibility of their CO2 contributions, the news was celebrated by developing nations around the world.

The agreement specifies that a fund is to be created and funded primarily by rich countries which benefited the most from burning of fossil fuels to drive their development. The fund will be used to help pay for damages from storms, floods, and other natural disasters that can be attributed to global warming.

While the announcement of the fund was a bright spot for this year’s COP27 summit, many environmental groups were disappointed by the fact that the summit failed to address setting limits on further consumption of fossil fuels.

A Consortium of Brands Shift to Forest Friendly Fibers

A group of 33 top fashion retailers, including representatives of the biggest fast fashion names: H&M and Inditex, have committed to purchasing up to 550,000 tonnes of alternative fibers which are made from waste textiles and agricultural residues. The story highlights the fact that this will unlock some much needed financing for low carbon footprint mills that have the technology but lack revenue to expand their operations.

The story highlights an issue we’ve discussed before regarding the need to over invest in initiatives that focus on recycling and low carbon production methods.

A few other interesting points from the story are some of the statistics regarding consumption of fibers by the textile industry. For example the fact that 3.2 billion trees are cut down to produce fibers for clothing and packaging, as well as the fact that over 7.5 million tons of man made fibers are produced each year.

The Carbon Cutting Goals of the Textile Industry Remain Elusive

The Voice of Fashion has reviewed the initiatives and pledges coming out of COP27 and remains skeptical whether the textile industry will be able to meet those goals. Specifically two pledges were called out:

  1. Cut emissions in half by 2030, and
  2. Reach Net-Zero by the mid century

The skepticism is mostly driven by actions of companies that make clothes that are designed to be worn a few times and thrown away. The article reports multiple opinions that this trend must end or dramatically slow down in order for pledges to succeed.

Another reason driving doubt is the fact that supply chains are simply too complex to monitor and hold accountable. The only path to success is through everyone working together.

Global Fashion Agenda Urges Collaboration on Climate

Just Style highlighted the work of Global Fashion Agenda (GFA) at COP27. GFA has been very active in pursuing a three pronged approach to push forward positive change within the textile industry. Specifically, GFA hosted three events that zeroed in the following topics:

  • How to become a net positive as an industry
  • What alliances are needed to decarbonize the fashion value chain
  • What steps need to be taken to foster circular systems

The events brought together industry experts, and hoped that as a result of the events the industry could come closer to standardizing industry goals, identifying opportunities to collaborate, as well as building consensus on the need to incentivize green solutions.

If you enjoyed this commentary, you might enjoy some of our other pieces:

Carbon Offsets Versus Actual Low Carbon Production Practices

The Problem With Fast Fashion