Thursday, 26 May 2022

How resale is the answer to reducing fashion’s greenhouse emissions

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Ronan Furuta

The latest toll on the environment confirms change must be made by fashion houses, business owners and consumers together in order to reduce emissions.

A recent article states that the UN has warned that fashion must cut greenhouse emissions in half and with just eight years to do so, it is going to be quite the task – however, it is one that is entirely doable.

One way to reduce emissions faster is the resale of stock and all those in the fashion world can do it, it's about learning to change.


It is a task that is quite simply, unavoidable. Change must happen and it must happen fast.

The question is – how? Here, Robert Lockyer, Founder and Chief Client Officer of luxury and sustainable packaging solutions provider Delta Global explains that resale could be the answer.

We’re all aware of the detrimental impact that many industries have on the environment and the UN has urged all sectors to cut greenhouse emissions by at least half by 2030.

The Cause And Who To Blame In A Broken System

Whilst fashion may not be the first industry to spring to mind when you consider the term ‘detrimental’, it can be exactly that.

Fashion as an industry contributes to up to 10% of global carbon emissions, thus significantly impacting the world in which we live. This, combined with the fact that 53 million tons of fibre is produced each year - 70% of which is wasted, proves just how damaging fashion can really be.

And if fast fashion continues to grow, then this damage will become even more prominent and potentially, irreversible.

Fast fashion is, of course, the obvious culprit and many of us are quick to blame these brands for the state of the environment, however luxury brands can’t get away with it, either.

Both brands and consumers mustn’t turn a blind eye to this, and many have already turned to resale in a bid to meet this ambitious target.

Making A Change And Avoiding Waste In The First Place

Before producing new products, materials and garments, brands should consider making the most of what they already have or is surplus. Rather than simply throwing things away so that they end up in landfills, these products could be sold in an alternative way, such as resale.

And if resale isn’t an option, then upcycling or creating new products out of pre-existing stock and materials is yet another option to consider.

It would be unreasonable to expect brands to become 100% sustainable overnight, but what we can expect to see, is change – in whatever form that may be.

Waste and excess product isn’t the only issue, though. The way in which products are made, packaged and shipped are also huge contributing factors.

Regenerative materials are something that brands should begin to implement as a part of their manufacturing process to reduce the amount of pollution caused by fashion. This can be done in the form of utilising recycled materials, upcycling current materials and even via regenerative agriculture.

Sustainable products are all well and good, however the object is completely defeated when they arrive in plastic mail bags. And so, brands must pay just as much attention to the way in which their products are packaged, as they do the products themselves.

When resale isn’t an option, brands and businesses can support the sustainability movement, reduce their carbon footprint and cut greenhouse emissions with their supply chain.

A smart, streamlined and efficient supply chain that is powered by data and artificial intelligence can improve logistics, reduce stock waste and prevent both undersupply and oversupply to create a more sustainable supply chain.

What’s Next? Keep Going And Think As A Community

We must all prioritise the ways in which we can reduce the amount of greenhouse emissions caused by fashion. From brands, business owners, manufacturers and supply chains, we should, and can, do our bit to make improvements on a global and international scale.

When we have successfully implemented one positive change, we shouldn’t be stopping there. We can push the boundaries to make yet another change.

If you own a fashion business yourself and that sounds overwhelming, start small, assess your supply chain, reduce your collection or make per order. And get some professional advice. A little change in your line of supply can cause a collective wave amongst the fashion community locally. Remember the famous adage “act local, think global”.

For more information on Delta Global and a more sustainable supply chain, please visit: www.deltaglobal.co