Fashion: The Forgotten Industry in the Paris Climate Talks


It seems strange that Paris would forget about fashion. After all Paris is the city of style, romance, Hermes and Dior. It's even stranger that a climate change conference, where the sole focus was limiting global warming, that fashion would hardly get a mention.

After all, fashion is the second dirtiest industry in the world. So why wasn't limiting toxic dyes, going after heavy polluters and cleaning up the global textile supply chain, on the forefront of the agenda?

Here are a few facts that we wish the delegates at the Paris convention had taken a look at:

1. The Chinese textile industry creates about 3 billion tons of soot each year, and those multinational companies contributing must take the responsibility for that.

2. The Philippines, with compensation costs at 88 cents per hour, had the lowest hourly wage among countries studied.  Employees in the textile industry are 80% women and have some of the lowest paying jobs in the world.

3. In 2010, the textile industry ranked third for overall in Chinese industry for wastewater discharge amount at 2.5 billion tons of wastewater per year, again, a global problem and responsibility.

4.  Collectively Brits in the United Kingdom have an estimated ($46.7 billion) worth of unworn clothes hanging in their closets.  In the United State an average of 68 lbs of clothes are thrown away each year.