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Fashion on Climate Report by McKinsey

Published by McKinsey & Company and Global Fashion Agenda, 2020.


COVID-19 is having a significant effect on the fashion industry, disrupting value chains, closing many of the world’s retail outlets and creating a new level of public awareness over health, safety and the fragility of the planet. At the same time, consumers are becoming increasingly engaged with sustainability topics, including social issues and climate change. 2/3 of consumers say it has become even more important to limit climate change following Covid-19. As well as, sustainability issues are also attracting increasing attention at executive level. This research was made to help professionals in fashion to urgently act to reduce textile industry' s greenhouse gas emissions.


Photo: McKinsey & Company and Global Fashion Agenda.



The fashion industry accounts for around 4% of emissions globally. More than 70% of the emissions come from upstream activities, particularly energy-intensive raw material production, preparation and processing. The remaining 30% are generated by downstream activities such as transport, packaging, retail operations, usage and end-of-use.


Under its current trajectory, the fashion industry will miss the 1.5-degree pathway by 50%. If abatement efforts continue to expand at the current rate, the industry can maintain GHG emissions at 2.1 billion tonnes in 2030. In net terms, this represents an abatement potential of around 636 million tonnes. To track a path to 1.5 degrees, the industry will be required to accelerate its efforts over the coming decade, reducing emissions by half to around 1.1 billion tonnes by 2030.


Over the next decade, the industry can cut its collective GHG footprint in half from current levels. 60% of the accelerated abatement potential lies in decarbonising upstream operations, 20% lies in brand own operations and 20% relies on encouraging sustainable consumer behaviours.


“Resale is reducing fashion's impact on our wallets and the Planet. By 2030, we need to live in a world in which 1 in 5 garments are traded through circular business models."

As demand grows, brands will need to implement circular business models in collaboration with retailers and upstream value chain players or risk losing both control of their products and the additional value they hold after sale.


If the fashion industry does not accelerate its response to climate change, it will by 2030 produce around twice the volume of emissions required to align with Paris Agreement global warming pathways. Let's achieve the global climate goals together to safeguard our future.


Read the full report by clicking here or go to the Fashion on Climate webpage.