Fast Fashion Is Racking Up Air Miles, and Emissions

  • 2 min read
  • Aug 06, 2022

Fast Fashion Is Racking Up Air Miles, and Emissions

Reality TV and beauty mogul Kylie Jenner is used to making headlines for her glamorous and jet-setting lifestyle.

But when the ‘Keeping Up With The Kardashians’ star posted a photo of herself and her partner, rapper Travis Scott, standing between two private jets, she captioned it, ‘Do you want to take my jet or yours?’ shared Last month, it set off a firestorm of criticism. According to an automated Twitter account that tracks celebrity flights, the trip in question lasted just 17 minutes, sparking an uproar about the careless use of gas-guzzling planes that has spread to other stars such as Drake and Taylor Swift. has done.

The issue has spent weeks in the news cycle, with outrage over extreme global climate change this summer serving as visible signs of the climate crisis.

Just like celebrities, the fashion industry is looking for comfort and speed on the fly.

According to a 2020 report by consulting firm McKinsey & Company and advocacy group Global Fashion Program (GFA), the proportion of clothing, footwear and textiles shipped by air has nearly doubled in the past decade to 17 percent of the total.

This has a heavy environmental cost. Flights are the most used means of moving goods around the world. Aviation was responsible for nearly 6 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in 2019, despite accounting for less than 1 percent of tonnage, according to the OECD International Transport Association.

As fashion continues to accelerate, can brands make a deal to slow down their shipping?

A change in contaminated air transport does not seem likely anytime soon. Air transportation gained momentum during the pandemic as a reliable transportation option at a time when seaports were supported and shipping containers were scarce. It’s also the fastest way to get goods from factories to warehouses, allowing brands to react more flexibly to changing trends, a huge plus in the current climate of economic uncertainty. And fashion is simply getting faster, fueled by new data-driven business models like Shein’s.

According to the International Air Transport Association, air cargo volume is expected to grow by about 4 percent annually in 2022, up 12 percent from pre-pandemic levels in 2019.

Sure, transportation only accounts for about 3 percent of fashion’s overall greenhouse gas emissions, according to McKinsey and GFA analysis. But moving away from the fashion supply chain and slowing down is a relatively simple and affordable thing that brands can do today.

Slowing down may seem like a risk, but some brands are already experimenting with ways to accompany consumers on their journey, explaining the environmental benefits and offering the option to pre-order or choose shipping methods. They provide slower.

More actions in this field can immediately and significantly reduce the pollution of brands.

To cover more BoF sustainability, Register Now for our new weekly briefing by Sarah Kent.

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