Sustainability en vogue — More Than Just a Fleeting Fashion Trend
“Sustainable,” “eco-friendly,” “ethical,” “recycled” — all buzzwords you might see the next time you’re shopping for a new outfit, designed to make you as a consumer feel like you’re making better choices to help reduce your carbon footprint. But what do those buzzwords really mean — is there any traceable impact the company has made to reduce its carbon footprint? In many cases, unfortunately not. The fashion industry has a major impact on climate change. It is estimated to contribute between 4 and 8.6 percent of the world’s greenhouse gases, and for the most part is largely unregulated. Any efforts to increase sustainability, such as by reducing pollution or eliminating labor abuses, are predominately voluntary commitments with little to no repercussions for failing to uphold those commitments.