The world’s second most polluting industry after oil and gas, fashion faces the stark reality that by 2030 global garment production will increase by 63%, in response to the planet’s growing population, expected by then to exceed 8.5 billion – an unsustainable quantity that has sparked tomorrow’s summit’s call to action: appealing to fashion brands and retailers to adopt circular systems. The crux of circular systems is collection, reuse and recycling of garments, feeding them back into the manufacturing process so that the majority of garments no longer go into landfill, ultimately making the existing linear model of “take, make, dispose” obsolete. By 2030 retailer H&M aims to operate under a fully circular model – that is, only using recycled materials in its garment production.
Important points arising from pre-summit discussions today at the Hotel Skt Petri, a fitting venue, being the world’s first 100% renewable energy powered hotel, included the need for innovation and collaboration between stakeholders across the fashion industry. The Pulse of the Fashion Industry report compiled by The Boston Consulting Group and the Global Fashion Agenda will be formally launched and discussed at tomorrow’s summit and will outline where the fashion industry is in terms of sustainability efforts today, and where it needs to be to avoid environmental and humanitarian crises in the future.