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How to Decipher “Sustainable Fashion” in 2020 (Harper's Bazaar)

December 16, 2019

 

 

Does this holiday season feel different? The world feels a little bit like it’s caving in on itself, no? In the past, this time of year would be all about fun parties and excitement about resolutions. This New Year, and looking at the decade ahead, feels uncomfortable and scary. 

 

There are wildfires raging in California, Russia, Brazil, and Australia (did you see those heart-wrenching pictures of the burned koalas?), which make the latest reports coming out about the climate crisis becoming dangerously close to irreversible change all the more terrifying. Meanwhile, the country has never been more divided in modern history (not to mention the strikes taking place around the world), as issues that roiled below the surface for decades around gender, race, income inequality, education, medical and housing costs explode to the surface. 

 

We’re not presented with many options when it comes to dealing with these headlines. We’re told to recycle (only to be told that it’s useless because much of that is going to landfill, anyway), vote when the time comes, use public transport when we can, and shop “sustainably”. 

 

But when it comes to fashion sustainability, we are sent massively mixed signals. Does it mean local production, emerging designers, rented clothes, organic cotton, or clothing made from recycled bottles? It all seems overwhelming, and besides, what impact can we really have as just one person?

 

It is from this frustration and wanting to turn fear into action that colleagues and I came together to create the New Standard Institute, bringing leading scientists together to cut through the marketing noise to develop a meaningful, data-lead roadmap on turning an industry we love—fashion—into one that is in line with the environmental and social limits of our planet. Using this one central, culture defining, consumer-facing industry, we hope to set the tone for fashion and other industries on a path forward. 

 

In the past year, in addition to pouring over all of the available research, I have followed the life of our clothes, from the cotton fields of Texas, to the yarn and fabric mills of China, to the cut and sew factories of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, all the way to the second hand markets (and landfills) in Ghana, where much of our clothing ends up when we donate it. 

 

We will be sharing more about this exploration and available research in the year to come, but we wanted to share with you the most critical insights and the resoundingly good news. (And my goodness, do we need good news). Below are the key takeaways.

 

1) Climate Change

 

Fashion contributes over 8 percent of all greenhouse gases and, if things continue as is, by 2050 more than 25 percent of the entire global carbon budget will go to this one industry. 

 

The carbon hotspot is at the mills (the places that spin the fiber into yarn and weave that yarn into fabric). More than 75 percent of the carbon footprint in the entire lifecycle of our clothing takes place there. To make things super clear, a company is only doing “sustainability” if they are lowering the carbon footprint of their mills. Doing this isn’t rocket science; it’s a matter of bringing in consultants to make the mills more energy efficient and changing the energy supply to renewables (and away from sources like coal). Levi's is one of the very few companies making a serious commitment to do this type of work.

 

 

Read the full article on the Harper's Bazaar

 

 

 

 

2020年如何解读“可持续时尚”(Harper's Bazaar)

 

 

这个假期会不会有所不同?这个世界有点像在自我迷恋,不是吗?在过去,一年中的这个时间只不过是有

趣的聚会和关于新年愿望的兴奋。新的一年和展望未来的十年,让你感到不安和恐惧。

在加利福尼亚、俄罗斯、巴西和澳大利亚,野火肆虐(你看到过令人心痛的熊熊燃烧的照片吗?),这使

得最近的报道都是关于气候危机的危险越来越接近不可逆转的可怕变化。同时,世界在经历现代历史上前

所未有的分化(更不用说在世界各地发生的罢工),数十年来围绕性别、种族、收入不平等、教育、医疗

和住房成本而浮出水面的问题日益凸显。

 

在处理这些话题时,我们没有太多选择。我们被告知要回收(只会被告知这是无用的,因为无论如何它都

会被填埋),在需要的时候投票,尽可能地使用公共交通工具以及“可持续地”购物。

但是,在时尚可持续性方面,我们收到了各种各样的信号。这是否意味着本地生产、新兴设计师、租用的

衣服、有机棉或由回收瓶制成的衣服?一切似乎都是压倒性的,此外,作为一个人我们究竟能产生什么影

响?

 

正是由于这种沮丧和希望将恐惧变成行动,我和我的同事们共同创建了 New Standard Institute,将领先

的科学家聚集在一起,以消除营销噪音,从而制定有意义的,数据领先的路线图,以转变我们热爱的行业

“时尚”成为一种符合我们星球的环境和社会极限的时尚。我们希望利用这一中心的、定义文化的、面向

消费者的行业,为时尚和其他行业定下前进的基调。

 

在过去的一年中,除了研究所有可用的研究之外,我还关注了我们衣服的寿命,从德克萨斯州的棉田到中

国的纱线和面料加工厂,再到孟加拉国的剪裁工厂,斯里兰卡,一直到加纳的二手市场(和垃圾填埋场),

捐赠时,我们的大部分衣服都被塞在那里。

 

我们将在来年分享有关此探索和可用研究的更多信息,但我们希望与你分享最关键的见解和令人震惊的好

消息。 (天哪,我们需要好消息)。以下是关键要点。

 

1)气候变化

 

时尚占所有温室气体的 8%以上,如果这种情况继续下去,到 2050 年,整个全球碳预算的 25%以上将用

于这一行业。

 

碳热点在工厂(将纤维纺成纱线并将纱线织成织物的地方)。 在我们的服装整个生命周期中,超过 75%

的碳足迹发生在这里。为了使事情变得更加清晰,一家公司只有在降低其工厂的碳足迹的情况下才进行“可

持续性”工作。 这样做不是火箭科学; 这是要引进顾问以提高工厂的能源效率,并改变向可再生能源(以

及远离煤炭等能源)的能源供应的问题。 Levi's 是极少数认真从事此类工作的公司之一。

 

 

 

Read the full article on the Harper's Bazaar

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