In November 2021 world leaders will gather in Glasgow for the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties, popularly known as CoP 26. With less than a year to go, attention is turning to how the world can reach net zero carbon emissions, and whether this target is ambitious enough.
Perhaps more than any other industry, the clothing and textiles sector is governed by the public’s insatiable appetite for constant change – what’s this season’s colour, cut, look? But one trend that isn’t going to become ‘last year’ is the growing demand from consumers that their love of fashion doesn’t come with a costly environmental price tag.
In mid-August, Defra published an important paper, setting out its initial proposals for the legally-binding, long-term environmental targets it intends to include in the Environment Bill. These are a vital element in the UK’s transition from EU Member State to independent country, ensuring that we continue to uphold high environmental standards after we leave the European Union.
I was talking to an economist friend over a drink last weekend, and he told me about the Cobra Effect. It is based on an amusing tale from Delhi in the 19th Century.
At WRAP, we have done a lot of work making the business case for sustainability; demonstrating how it is possible to strike the balance between what is good for a company’s profit line and for the planet.
We believe that we have to shift from the linear make, use, dispose culture to a circular one which embeds sustainable production and consumption and prevents us from plundering the planet’s precious resources. This is no longer a ‘nice to have’ but a ‘must do’ and that business, government, and all of us as citizens have a responsibility to make that happen.