Who doesn't love fashion weeks? they're fun and exciting especially for someone who is curious to see the latest trends on the runaway. Unfortunately, all that glitters is not gold, and especially fashion weeks are very unsustainable, despite the latest trend being carbon neutral shows.
The keying group in particular, announced that their shows would be carbon neutral, because of their investments to offset their carbon emissions, (if you want to know more about offsetting I have a blogpost about it).
But the real emissions, from travelling to attend major international fashion weeks have been measured for the first time by fashion technology company ORDRE.com in collaboration with climate change consultancy, the Carbon Trust in this report.
Designers and buyers travelling to fashion weeks, with separate events often for womenswear and menswear collections, for both the Spring/ Summer and Fall/Winter seasons, as well as additional Pre-Fall and Resort collections, create huge emissions.
I'll let the numbers speak for themselves. In this investigation they looked at 2,697 retailers and 5,096 designers travelling to and from the major fashion weeks, over a 12-month period.
What they found out is that THE TOTAL CARBON EMISSIONS OF THE TRAVEL ASSOCIATED WITH THE WHOLESALE FASHION BUYING PROCESS IS: 241,000 tCO2e per year. To put it into perspective, it's equal to lighting up the Eiffel Tower for 3,060 years or Times Square for 58 years. Air travel made up most of the emissions
And this number didn't take into account other groups such as the media and influencers.
The environmental impact of business travel is such an understated issue. These findings should influence decision makings of businesses especially regarding travelling, which can be a necessity at times, but in the case of fashion weeks similar results can be achieved through alternative approaches.
Alternative approaches include combining seasons and collections in single events, decreasing the locations at which shows are staged, to reduce the amount of travel required. The last thing would be to choosing alternative means of transport, such as train. These emissions are really not necessary, especially with technology that can be used to virtually present collections.
share what you think in the comments!