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  • Nneji Akunne

10 Best Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint in the Fashion Industry



The fashion industry is responsible for 1% of global greenhouse gas emissions. While that may not seem like a lot, the industry will need to take action if it wants to mitigate the effects of climate change and its growing carbon footprint. If you work in the fashion industry, then you know how challenging it can be. But with so many challenges comes opportunity. The best way to reduce your carbon footprint in the fashion industry is by reducing your individual carbon footprint as well as your company’s overall impact on the environment. Reducing your carbon footprint doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive; there are plenty of ways you can make an impact without breaking the bank. Reducing your carbon footprint in the fashion industry doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive; there are plenty of ways you can make an impact without breaking the bank.


Go digital

While paper usage may be trending downwards, the demand for electronic goods and carbon emissions from their production is on the rise. To reduce your carbon footprint in the fashion industry, you’ll want to reduce your reliance on digital technology and paper-based systems. What can you do? - Use an eco-friendly printer. Many printers include toxic materials in their ink cartridges, which are bad for both people and the environment. Opt for an eco-friendly printer to reduce your carbon footprint. - Use an online calendar. Paper calendars are a thing of the past. Modern calendars can be accessed through your computer, tablet, or phone, eliminating the need for paper calendars entirely. What will you gain? - Fewer trees will be cut down as a result of your decision to go digital. Each year millions of trees are cut down to produce paper calendars, paper, and other paper-based systems. - You’ll also be reducing your reliance on harmful chemicals.

Improve supply chain transparency

The fashion industry generates over 1 billion tons of garments, textiles, and other products each year. With such high volume and growing demand for fast fashion, the fashion industry has a long way to go before it can be considered sustainable. What can you do? - Hold a meeting with your team to discuss ways to make your supply chain more transparent. Transparency in the supply chain is extremely important because it lets you know where your products are coming from and how they are being produced. - Have your team brainstorm ideas on how they can make partnerships with suppliers more transparent. What will you gain? - Full transparency in the supply chain allows you to trace each garment back to its point of origin, making it easier to identify any potential issues. For example, if a garment is made using toxic materials, you can easily identify it and take action. - Transparency in the supply chain also makes it easier to make sourcing ethically appealing. You can use your transparency to showcase your work towards eco-friendly practices.

Use eco-friendly fabrics

Every article of clothing consumed by the fashion industry produces approximately 500-800 pounds of carbon dioxide. Making eco-friendly fabrics with natural dyes is one of the most effective ways to reduce your carbon footprint in the fashion industry. What can you do? - Make sure your brand is sourcing eco-friendly fabrics. If your brand is already ethically sourced, make sure that your fabrics are eco-friendly. - Switch to natural dyes. Synthetic dyes are made from petroleum, which is a fossil fuel that releases carbon dioxide when processed. On the other hand, natural dyes are grown from plants or insects, which don’t contribute to the carbon footprint in the fashion industry. What will you gain? - You’ll be reducing your carbon footprint. - You’ll be promoting eco-friendly fabrics that are good for people and the environment. - Your products will be more appealing to environmentally conscious consumers.

Adopt sustainable manufacturing practices

The industrialization has greatly contributed to the carbon footprint in the fashion industry. And while it may be impossible for the fashion industry to go back to traditional practices, you can make a difference by adopting sustainable manufacturing practices. What can you do? - Assess your current practices and see where you can make improvements. Sustainable practices include sourcing fabrics and materials that are recyclable or reusable, utilizing water and energy-efficient equipment, and making adjustments to your supply chain. What will you gain? - You’ll be reducing your carbon footprint. - Your organization will have a more positive public image. - Your products will be more appealing to environmentally conscious consumers.

Go paperless

The fashion industry relies heavily on paper. From sample books to sales orders, paper is everywhere when digital systems could so easily replace it. What can you do? - Replace paper samples with digital samples. Instead of printing paper samples, opt for digital samples that can be viewed on computers, tablets, or phones. This will reduce your carbon footprint and make the sample book easier to manage since there will be no need to physically bind the book. - Use digital contracts and order forms. Go paperless when it comes to contracts, order forms, and other documents that are frequently used in the fashion industry. Digital contracts and order forms are easier to manage and can be accessed on any device. What will you gain? - You’ll reduce your carbon footprint. - You’ll be able to streamline your sample and order book management. - You’ll make it easier for your employees to access information. - You’ll boost client satisfaction by making it easier for them to access information as well.

Build a walking meeting routine

Many companies have implemented walking meetings as a way to reduce their carbon footprint in the fashion industry. But walking meetings aren’t just good for the environment but also for productivity. What can you do? - Implement a walking meeting routine. Walking meetings allow you to get out of the office and get some fresh air while you’re at it. This is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint in the fashion industry while also being more productive. What will you gain? - You’ll reduce your carbon footprint. - You’ll boost employee creativity by getting out of the office. What’s more, you’ll also be able to reduce office distractions and break up the monotony of working in an office setting.


Commit to organizational change

Working towards a more sustainable fashion industry doesn’t have to be a one-off event. You can make changes at every level of your company to promote sustainability. What can you do? - Hire employees who are passionate about sustainability. The best employees are the ones who want to make a difference. Hire employees who are committed to making your company more sustainable. This will make it easier to implement eco-friendly practices at your company. What will you gain? - You’ll hire employees who are committed to making a difference. - You’ll promote sustainability at every level of your company. - You’ll make it easier to make changes that promote sustainability.



The fashion industry is responsible for 1% of global greenhouse gas emissions. While that may not seem like a lot, the industry will need to take action if it wants to mitigate the effects of climate change and its growing carbon footprint. If you work in the fashion industry, then you know how challenging it can be. But with so many challenges comes opportunity. The best way to reduce your carbon footprint in the fashion industry is by reducing your individual carbon footprint as well as your company's overall impact on the environment. Reducing your carbon footprint doesn't have to be difficult or expensive; there are plenty of ways you can make an impact without breaking the bank.



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