If fashion were a country, it would be the world’s third-largest greenhouse gas emitter after China and the U.S., contributing about 10 percent of global emissions.
Each year, clothing production uses enough water to provide for 5 million people, while at the same time, up to 92 million tons of used clothes end up in landfills. This is the age of fast fashion – cheap, mass-produced clothes designed to reflect the latest trends, with new collections being released all the time to tempt us into buying more.
So, how can we dress up without chewing up the planet? In this GLF Live, we exposed the naked truth behind fast fashion and its impacts on communities in the Global South, as well as potential ways to forge a greener future for our clothes.
Listen back to this crucial conversation on sustainable fashion with environmental activist and philanthropist Bianca Pitt and social entrepreneur Isaac Waithaka.
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Bianca Pitt is an advisor to the environmental charity sector, an activist and campaigner, and an environmental funder and founder. She is the Founder of the Women of the Environment Network and Co-Founder at SHE Changes Climate. She also serves on a number of boards and advisory committees, which include ClientEarth, The Environmental Funders Network, The Sustainable Angle, Action for Conservation, Climate&Sustainability, Nature 2030 and the South Downs National Park Trust. She and her husband endowed the first Chair for Environmental Sustainability at INSEAD, one of the leading business schools. She is a Fellow of the RSA, author and speaker (TEDx, Women‘s Forum, FT Climate and Capital, ChangeNOW, BBC Radio 4 Women’s Hour, France 24, etc.). Bianca lives on a farm in West Sussex, which she and her family are turning into a regenerative venture together with some community farmers and where she enjoys spending as much time in nature as possible.
Isaac Waithaka is a Kenyan social entrepreneur on a mission to implement the next generation of impact-driven initiatives to create sustainable communities by implementing strategies that address the dual crises of youth unemployment and climate change. He is particularly interested in co-creating social initiatives with high added value for different social groups, believing that meaningful and lasting change can only happen when various institutions work closely together. He is a co-founder of Labl Fashion, a social enterprise that makes social and sustainable fashion that helps small and medium fashion brands become successful. Labl is redesigning the production process by building microcommunity factories from scratch in conjunction with local communities. Labl involves communities in the manufacturing process and sources sustainable fabrics locally. Now, Labl wants to deliver a brighter future by working with local small-scale farmers, implementing regenerative agriculture cotton production, where the local communities produce regenerative cotton and the whole processing of cotton and eventually the manufacturing of garments is implemented at the community level.