Hello conscious fashion lovers. On this post, I’ll be simplifying how fashion intersects with the Sustainable Development Goals and how fashion can help achieve the SDGs.
What is SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) ? These are 17 goals set in 2015 by United Nations General Assembly intended to be achieved by 2030. The fashion industry plays a huge role in achieving these goals. Read more about the goals here.
So how are most these goals connected to the Fashion industry?
Goal #1 NO POVERTY
Currently, The fashion industry is a multibillion dollar industry yet it’s the same industry that is known to be paying very low wages to the garment workers. By paying fair wages to every employee around the world and monitoring the supply chain to make sure no one is below the poverty line, fashion industry can help eradicate poverty.
Goal #3 GOOD HEALTH AND WELL BEING
If you look at the garment factories, one of the major issues is that they do not pay attention to Health and Safety regulations. The workers are exposed to toxic chemicals which threatens their life in long term. We have seen what can come out of a dangerous working space by cruel examples like the 2012 fire in Tazreen Fashion Factory and Rana Plaza. If the fashion industry tackles this and provides good healthcare benefits to the workers, they will be helping achieve goal number 3.
GOAL #5 GENDER EQUALITY
Majority of people working in the fashion industry are female. However, they’re always in the junior roles. If you look at the major stakeholders and decision makers like CEOs and directors in the fashion industry, majority is male. There’s also a common problem like sexual harassment in the fashion industry especially in modelling that needs to be addressed.
GOAL #8 DECENT WORK & ECONOMIC GROWTH
Fashion industry is one of the biggest culprit when it comes to indecent work. If poor working conditions, exploitation and discrimination is addressed within the fashion industry. When we look at the Payup campaign, economic growth has stoped during this COVID times in the developing countries who were working closely with the fashion industry because major brands have decided not to pay for orders they already placed.
GOAL #12 RESPONSIBLE CONSUMPTION & PRODUCTION
The drop in garment prices over the years has allowed us to consume more of the cheap disposable clothes which end up in landfills. 80 billion garments are produced every year using natural resources like water and toxic.
GOAL #13 CLIMATE ACTION
The apparel industry accounts for 6.7% of the worlds greenhouse gas emissions. If we continue with the same trend, it’s predicted that the apparels climate impact will increase by 49%.
Goal #14 Life Below water
Because of lack of interaction with life below water, it’s easy to ignore this goal. If we reduce toxic chemicals used to treat textiles, reduce how much water we use in the textile treatment & production process and if we continue creating materials out of waste collected from the ocean, we can help sustainable life below water.
Thank you for reading. Read more on 5 steps towards sustainable fashion on a budget
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2 thoughts on “How Fashion Can Help Achieve The SDGs”
This was a really good read! I am very interested in sustainable fashion and look forward to reading more from you.
Thank you very much Jenni for taking your time to leave a comment. What I’ve come to understand and accept about sustainability is that it’s always a learning and unlearning process so let’s learn together.