Many people in this current time are in tune with global warming and pollution. In contrast, many people don’t know the impact that the Fashion Industry has on the environment. In the past few years, many industry professionals and environmentalists have argued about if the Fashion Industry is actually the 2nd biggest polluting industry in the world, right behind oil and gas.
In the New York Times article, “The Biggest Fake News in Fashion,” the author disproves claims from various professionals in the industry with their claim regarding how the Fashion Industry is the second biggest polluter in the world. The author starts off the article with a bold statement by the chief executive of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, Jason Kibbey, by stating, “It is not factually true.” The author also goes on to talk about how some claims are not specific, and just states that the textile dyeing and finishing part of the industry is the main polluter, but that can include numerous branches such as bedding, home wares, etcetera. There is not an initial link as to how the industry became known as “the second biggest polluter,” the claims just started appearing without verifiable evidence. Due to the Fashion Industry being filled with hearsay, impossible-to-trace supply chains, and sparse data, it is hard to conclude that it is actually the second biggest polluter in the world (Friedman, 2018).
On the other hand, some industry professionals and environmentalists have data giving the industry that rank. In Solar Impulse Foundation’s article, “It’s Time for Fashion to set Bold Environment Goals,” the author contrasts The New York Times’s article by stating data relative to the title of “second biggest polluter.” The author explains that because of consumers’ wants and needs to have the latest fashion trends at the tips of their fingers, more and more companies and brands are turning to improper manufacturing and disposal methods. Chiara Cosenza states, “In the USA, transportation overtook power plants as the main producer of carbon dioxide emissions. A quarter of this footprint comes from trucks doing last-mile deliveries, while before they just needed to deliver to one main location (a mall, shopping center, etc).” The author continues to state basic facts about sustainability of the industry as well as textiles, but none of the data concludes that the industry is actually that high on the world’s pollution rank. While the facts are true about microfibers shedding from synthetic fibers, water contamination, and landfills overflowing from waste, the numbers and statistics don’t lead to a definite rank.
While both of these articles have productive points, and both state the fact that the industry does need to be more environmentally conscious, there is not accurate and specific data to say that the industry is in fact as harmful as the oil and gas industry. While the majority of information passing through the industry is biased or hearsay, it is difficult to get an unbiased report on where the industry stands environmentally. While there is correct and unbiased evidence about the industry’s past and current pollution and steps companies and brands are taking to reduce their carbon footprint, there is still not enough information to deem that its rank in total world pollution is actually that high.