ImpACT to UNHRC: Act against alarming carbon emissions from fashion industry

ImpACT to UNHRC: Act against alarming carbon emissions from fashion industry

In a joint statement at the 44th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), ImpACT International for Human Rights Policies and International Institute for Rights and Development, Geneva (IRDG) expressed grave concern over the global carbon emissions produced by the fashion industry, including “fast fashion” factories.

"The increasing popularity of fast fashion or ‘Highstreet shops,’ such as H & M and ZARA, is amongst the most significant drivers behind the increase in global carbon emissions,” said Lara Hamidi, researcher for ImpACT International. "More than international shipping and aeroplane pollution, the fashion industry is responsible for contributing 10% of annual global carbon emissions."

Since India and Pakistan are Britain’s largest garment and cotton suppliers, they suffer the consequences, including water scarcity.  More than 2,700 litres of water are needed to produce one cotton shirt. Water scarcity is amongst the factors that threaten the survival of people living in high-production countries.

The two organizations also warned that disposal of nonbiodegradable clothing fills up landfills, where it stays for up to two centuries, whilst also polluting the world’s oceans.

The London-based ImpACT urged the U.N. council to recognise the danger of the growing popularity of fast fashion, especially regarding persons with disabilities. "If this issue is not addressed, greenhouse gas emissions from clothing factories will surge by approximately 50%," it said.

The two organisations called upon the U.N. Human Rights Council to increase its efforts regarding persons with disabilities during climate change, adding that disability inclusive initiatives should be implemented to reduce the production and purchase of fast fashion, thus encouraging an increase in reusable and recyclable clothing. ImpACT International for Human Rights Policies and IRDG concluded that rules and regulations must be put into place to control global fast-fashion factories, such as an introduction of a carbon-emission cap.




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