Sustainability in the Fashion Value Chain 2022
Other Titles: 
Overview of Sustainability. General milestones and Approach to the Fashion Industry Technical Note 1
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Sustainability is a complex word related to the three-bottom line1 of economic, social, and environmental dimensions of the development that meets the needs of the present without compromising those of the future2, within the planet’s physical boundaries. Sustainability in Fashion companies is no longer an option, but the “new normal”, evidenced by its privileged place in the Fashion Industry’s Agenda in 20203. Fashion industry is considered to be the second most polluting in the world, textiles are the fourth highest-pressure category for the use of raw materials and water, after food, housing, and transport, and fifth for GHG emissions4. Clothing production doubled from 2000 to 2014 and the number of garments purchased each year by the average consumer increased by 60%5. People use their clothes half as much as they did in 20006: in some countries such as China, clothing utilisation has decreased by 70% in the same period5. Undoubtedly, the fashion industry is now a relevant player in economic scene, with a contribution of more than $2.4 trillion to global manufacturing7, and more than 300 million people employed if we include the clothing industry along the value chain6 all across the world. It is clearly a growing sophisticated business with a fragmented and relative low-tech production system5. It began 200 years ago, but innovation to improve quality developed most significantly in the last 50-60 years; health and safety product control developed over the last 10-15 years, and sustainability emerged as a key concern only 5-6 years. The path to this transformation process is extremely difficult, multifaceted and must progress quickly. Sustainability in the Fashion value chain needs the collaboration between academia and business (research in many fields like Communication, Environmental Sciences, Chemistry, Business, Biology, Law, Engineering, Design, Architecture, etc., and different players in the industry: providers, textile manufacturers, retailers, delivering services, etc.). It also needs the fuel of the public institutions and the commitment of the consumers. But what sustainability does mean?

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