Fashion for the SDGs: Sustainable supply chains


This digital summit is now over.

Date : 30 May 2018
Time : 10.15 - 11.45 ET (Use this tool to convert to your local time zone)

Time: 10.15 – 11.45 (US East Coast Time)

When most think about contributing factors to environmental health and Climate Change, typically we think about energy production, shipping, and agriculture. What often flies under the radar is the immense contribution from the fashion and textile industry.

‘The Fashion industry – worth $3 trillion annually – is clearly an environmental emergency’, warned top UN officials. According to Olga Algayerova, the Executive Secretary of the U.N. Economic Commission for Europe, the Fashion industry is the second biggest consumer of water and produces 20% of global wastewater while producing approximately 10% of global carbon emissions – more than all international flights and maritime shipping combined. Simply addressing the sustainability of this supply chain could drastically reduce the impact of fashion and textile industries.

While the sustainability of the Fashion industry’s supply chain should already be cause for serious concern, the main driver of the Fashion industry’s environmental epidemic is a shift in consumer behavior. Compared to 2000, the average consumer in 2018 is purchasing 60% more clothes but wearing them for half the time and in the case of 40% of clothes, not wearing them at all. Bearing in mind the rate of population growth, consumption will rise by 63%, from 62 million tons today to 102 million tons in 2039—an equivalent of more than 500 billion T-shirts.This monumental shift in consumer behavior puts immense pressure on not just the supply chains of these industries, but also on natural resources, ecosystems and local communities that these supply chains depend on.

The fashion and textile industries is an engine for global development. Being one of the world’s largest consumer industries, it generated $1.5 trillion in annual apparel and footwear revenues in 2016 and employs approximately 60 million people. There is no question that the industry is a force for economic and social progress, but currently it does not do enough to ensure sustainability along its supply chain.

Addressing the production and consumption patterns of the fashion industry to improve sustainability would have a domino effect on many aspects of development and provide a visible and meaningful contribution to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Tune into this discussion of how the Fashion and Textile industries can make meaningful contributions to the Sustainable Development Goals. We will be joined by experts from UNEP, Future Tech Lab, Fashion for Conservation and more to discuss steps in ensuring sustainability in fashion and textile supply chains and to highlight fair and equitable investments as well as accelerating the provision of green jobs for youth and women especially in rural areas.


Should you have any questions or enquiries, do not hesitate to contact GLF Digital Summit Coordinator Charlie Nelson at c.nelson@cgiar.orgfor further information.

Our Speakers

Ava J. Holmes

Co-founder and Executive Producer, Fashion for Conservation

Miroslava Duma

CEO & Founder, Future Tech Lab

Kaya Dorey

Creator, Novel Supply Co.


Michael Stanley-Jones

Programme Management Officer, UNDP–UN Environment Poverty-Environment Initiative