Our mission is to generate and expand awareness,
empowerment and momentum across the global fashion industry.
Responsibility in Fashion. Moving the industry forward.
Responsibility in Fashion is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
We all need to face the not-so-glamourous facts about the fashion industry.
Fashion is a dirty business.
The fashion industry is a global leader in water pollution, air pollution, waste, soot and greenhouse gas production.
► Clothing and textile production ranks second on the list of most polluting global industries. (Source: Ecowatch) ► The production of nylon emits Nitrous Oxide (N2O), a greenhouse gas with a carbon footprint more than 200 times greater than CO2. (Source: The New York Times) ► The Chinese textile industry creates 3 billion tons of soot each year. (Source: NRDC) ► Millions of tons of unused fabric at Chinese mills go to waste each year when dyed the wrong color. (Source: Forbes) ► 1.3 billion tons of fabric waste is created each year. (Source: Threadsol) ► A single mill in China uses approximately 200 tons of water for each ton of fabric it dyes. (Source: The Guardian) ► Rivers in China run with the colors of the season as the untreated toxic dyes wash off from mills. (Source: The Guardian) ► The textile industry discharges about 300,000 tons of CO2 and contributes to 8.2 percent of CO2 pollution in China. (Source: Ecotextiles) ► The United States produces 25 billion pounds of clothing waste every single year.(Source: Council for Textile Recycling) ► The average American throws away approximately 68 pounds of clothing annually. (Source: Council for Textile Recycling)
Fashion is a toxic business.
The global production of clothing dumps massive quantities of toxic chemicals and pesticides—
toxins that remain in our ecosystem and on the clothes we buy.
► 38.3 million tons of pesticides enter our ecosystem every year from cotton production.(Source: Organic Trade Association) ► Five of the nine pesticides used on conventionally-grown cotton are known carcinogens. (Cyanide, Dicofol, Naled, Propargite, and Trifluralin.) (Source: United States Environmental Protection Agency) ► More pesticides are used on cotton than any other crop. (Source: Forbes) ► Even after multiple washings, hundreds of the toxic chemicals and pesticides used in the cultivation and manufacturing of clothing remain in significant amounts. (Source: Stockholm University Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry) ► Nearly two-thirds of underground water in China is now graded "unfit for human contact." (Source: Chinese Academy of Environmental Planning) The dumping of highly toxic chemical waste from leather tanning is polluting our rivers and oceans. Turning hides into leather in most of the world requires chromium, which is a potent known carcinogen. The National Institute of Health considers hexavalent chromium Cr(VI) as both cytotoxic and genotoxic. (Source: Scientific America) ► The almost 200 tanneries in Hazaribag, Bangladesh produce a daily 7.7 million liters of toxic wastewater containing staggering levels of hexavalent chromium and 88 tons of solid waste. (Source: Scientific America) ► 70% of the dry cleaning chemical PERC ends up in our ecosystem and significant quantities of the toxin remains on clothing after dry-cleaning. Most dry-cleaners use a chemical called Perchloroethylene, also called PERC. PERC is a volatile organic compound (VOC) that the EPA has classified as a likely carcinogen and the IARC as a probable carcinogen. The EPA also reports that the main effects of PERC in humans are neurological, liver and kidney effects following acute and chronic inhalation exposure and adverse reproductive effects, such as spontaneous abortions. Studies have found PERC in more than 50% of all Superfund sites, and a federal survey found PERC in more than 26% of U.S. groundwater supplies, in concentrations reaching hundreds of times the acceptable limit established by the Safe Drinking Water Act. (Source: Georgetown University, Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, Washington Post and Greenpeace) ► 1/3 of a pound of pesticides goes into the production of one conventional-cotton t-shirt. (Source: National Resources Defense Council)
Fashion is an inhumane business.
The fashion industry is responsible for a global humanitarian crisis of poverty wages, hazardous working conditions,
agricultural pesticide poisoning, human trafficking and child labor.
► Globally, the typical garment worker survives on a fraction of a living wage, working long hours and often seven a week in unhealthy and unsafe working conditions. (Source: Forbes) ► More than 44 million cases of agricultural pesticide poisoning are reported annually. (Source: Ethical Fashion Forum and Environmental Justice Foundation) ► In the 4 years since the Rana Plaza building collapse, of the over 7000 garment factories in Bangladesh, only 7 factories have fully implemented worker-safety action plans. (Source: The Business of Fashion) ►  In the garment industry, an estimated 21 million people are currently victims of human trafficking, and of that nearly 79% are also victims of forced labor. (Source: International Labor Organization) ► The production of clothing is a leading employer of child-laborers. In India alone, an estimated 400,000 children are employed in the cultivation of cotton. (Source: World Wildlife Fund)
Together we can build a responsible global fashion industry. Clean materials, clean manufacturing and basic rights for workers.
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► Expensive fees and memberships for access to basic sustainability information and resources have created an global obstacle in the road toward a more responsible fashion industry. Achieveing a more responsible global fashion industry means putting an end to the practice of selling basic information.
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Responsibility in Fashion is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
Responsibility in Fashion is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization working to expand awareness, empowerment and momentum across the global fashion industry utilizing innovative programs and intelligent marketing. Responsibility in Fashion. Moving the industry forward.
Responsibility in Fashion's Network of Industry Thought Leaders:
Robert Bergmann / Founder, Responsibility in Fashion
Burak Cakmak / Parsons School of Design
Anna Scott Carter / Clean by Design, Natural Resources Defense Council
Simone Cipriani / Ethical Fashion Initiative, United Nations
Jonas Eder-Hansen / The Danish Fashion Institute
Livia Firth / Eco-Age
Julie Gilhart
Linda Greer / Clean by Design, Natural Resources Defense Council
Scott Mackinlay Hahn / Loomstate
Amy Hall / Eileen Fisher
Anna McMullen / Labour Behind the Label
Andrew Morgan / The True Cost
Chloé Mukai / Ethical Fashion Initiative, United Nations
Diana Verde Nieto / Positive Luxury
LaRhea Pepper / Textile Exchange
Lewis Perkins / Fashion Positive, Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute
Timo Rissanen / Parsons School of Design
Lisa Smilor / Council of Fashion Designers of America
Marina Spadafora / Altos de Chavón School of Design
Tyson Toussant / Bionic Yarn
Amber Valletta / Master & Muse
Dilys Williams / Centre for Sustainable Fashion, University of the Arts London
Responsibility in Fashion has the ongoing support of The Council of Fashion Designers of America.
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