“In the era of sobriety, Paris must become the capital of sustainable fashion”

VSThis week Paris hosts Fashion Week. For eight days the fashion shows follow one another and the largest houses present their new collections. The world of fashion holds its breath, clinging to these almost fifteen minutes of fashion show that are repeated from one brand to another and that will inspire clothing trends for many months. Also suspended by a sizable market: Paris Fashion Week alone generates € 10.3 billion in commercial transactions.

There would be enough to make us dream. Except that today, fashion weeks emit more than 240,000 tons of CO2 every year, according to the study carried out by Utopie for the City of Paris. At a time when sobriety is on everyone’s lips, fashion must undergo a lasting transformation. It’s fast. Paris, the historic fashion capital, has an important role to play in this dynamic.

Second most polluting sector

The fashion industry, and more particularly “fast fashion” – literally fast fashion! – pushes us towards an ever greater consumption of clothing. The result: a disposable fashion that requires nothing more than low prices. Since the 2000s, global clothing production has more than doubled, while 70% of our wardrobe is unworn.

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However, more and more of us are aware of the disastrous social and environmental consequences of this excessive consumption, which have been the subject of numerous publications and reports. And for good reason, fashion is the second most polluting industry in the world: extraction and processing of raw materials, manufacturing, transportation, consumption and management of end-of-life pieces, at every stage of their value chain our clothes are wreaking havoc. natural ecosystems. The fashion industry alone accounts for as many greenhouse gas emissions as there are maritime and air traffic combined.

At the same time, most multinationals subcontract and outsource their production for profitability reasons to countries where working conditions are indecent. The 2013 collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh where thousands of workers worked for third parties of big Western brands, or the recent complaints filed by associations against multinationals suspected of benefiting from forced labor, Uyghurs, a Muslim minority in China, are the painful witnesses.

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