Greenpeace has launched a campaign to reclaim the “world’s waste” and promote sustainable textile industry worth around $2.3 billion.
The global textile industry is the third-largest source of greenhouse gas emissions after power generation and transport, according to the International Labour Organization (ILO).
But the greenpeace garment industry has emerged as a key driver of climate change, and has been a target of the Trump administration.
In February 2017, the Trump Administration imposed a nationwide moratorium on all new textile production.
This sparked a boycott by some major global brands.
In a new report, Greenpeace’s Global Wage Watch argues that the textile industry generates around 60% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the majority of which come from the textile process itself.
It also highlights that the global textile economy is worth more than $2 billion per year, and could be worth around half a trillion dollars in 2030, with the rest coming from the sale of textiles, clothing, and apparel.
The textile industry contributes around $20 billion in annual carbon emissions.
Greenpeace’s Wage Watch, produced with the help of the Institute for Energy and Resources Research (IERR), aims to quantify the economic and social impacts of the global garment industry and highlight the need to create an inclusive solution to climate change.
It’s an important initiative, but it’s not enough, says Richard Deacon, senior partner at the ILO’s sustainable development and textile industries division.
“I think the global demand for textile production has to be recognised as a huge source of carbon and therefore the need for a significant carbon reduction,” he says.
Greenhouse gas emissions from the global manufacturing of clothing, footwear, and furniture are estimated to account for almost half the total emissions from textile manufacturing, according a report published by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
The textile industry accounts for around 40% of all greenhouse gas emission from textile production worldwide, accounting for around $3.5 trillion in total.
The textiles industry accounts, in part, for the vast majority of the emissions from deforestation and other land-use changes associated with urbanisation.
The study found that in some regions of the world, such as South Asia, the production of textile is particularly damaging to the natural resources of the land.
“We need to address the production and sale of textile, which contributes to climate-changing pollution,” says Deacon.
“We have to ensure that the environmental consequences of the textile sector are considered and the impact on biodiversity is assessed and managed.”
Greenpeace hopes that the new campaign will help to raise awareness about the textile and manufacturing industries, as well as highlight the importance of global textile policymaking.