“Supplier of Sustainable Technologies”: ASSOMAC study on Sustainability.
The most effective way through which the fashion industry can achieve an ambitious reduction of emissions in the clothing and footwear supply chains is to focus on renewable energy and energy efficiency throughout the value chain, with particular attention to steps that have a greater impact on the life cycle, rather than focusing on increasing the circular economy. Only a circular economy where many passages of the chain can be skipped, through the reuse of fabrics or leather, can allow a substantial reduction of the indicators.
It is necessary to see what truly measurable actions can be taken to compare traditional production processes with other alternative production processes, calculating the real benefits of renewable energy, a proven greater energy efficiency and the application of the circular economy.
Technology suppliers must contribute to building process tables that indicate consumption in the light of an overview that goes from fossil fuels to solar energy, as well as showing comparison calculations in the process methodologies, which specify all the positive effects (or negative).
It has been seen that setting a 60% renewable energy target for the whole industry for 2030 would produce encouraging results in terms of climate change (39% reduction) and also in fresh water consumption (16.9% reduction) and on human health (11.5% disease reduction), which demonstrates the value of a multi-factorial approach.
With an energy productivity target of 60%, the industry could reduce its impacts on climate change and health by 41.6% and 40.8% respectively, also reducing its consumption of fresh water by 28.5%.
By establishing the target of the circular economy at 40%, the data highlight the potential in terms of impact. Such a significant change could lead the clothing and footwear industry to decrease its impact on climate change by about 6% and on freshwater consumption by about 4%, also reducing its negative influence on human health in the 3%. Overall, the reduction potential of this point is significantly lower than for renewable energy or energy efficiency / productivity.