Green Supply Chains
The birth of the couture industry can be traced back to 1850 in Paris, where top designers held fashion shows for their most prized clients1. From there, it took centre-stage and evolved into four big Fashion weeks: Paris, Milan, London and New York. Today, it has taken over the world, with Tokyo, Berlin, Madrid, Australia and India Fashion Weeks cementing their place on the world fashion stage2. Fashion Week began as a means for retailers to buy and incorporate the latest collections into their retail marketing, but they have progressed into ‘in season shows’, catering to fast fashion retailers, who ‘see now, buy now’ and replicate runway designs into retail stores. Now, pop ups, capsule collections and one-off shows have completely changed the rules.
Fast fashion has become synonymous with instant gratification. This refers to designs that move rapidly from the runways to store shelves. Take brands like H&M, Zara and Primark. It is all about speed and agility – bringing the trend to the shop floor as rapidly as possible, sometimes even before the originals hit stores. With rapid design and supply chain systems in place, the pace at which the newest styles get to shop shelves is almost real-time! This means that essentially, we have moved from the biannual seasonality that defined the fashion industry to that of fast fashion brands that may have as many as 52 weekly ‘micro-seasons’ per year. Luxury brands, while slow to change got caught up in the multiple seasons madness too and increased the number of collections each year. Sadly, this comes at a humungous cost to people and the environment.5855
Can Planting a Trillion Trees Stop Climate Change?
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change1 estimate that nature-based solutions, including healthy forests, could provide up to one-third of the emissions reductions required by 2030 to meet the Paris Agreement targets. Trees are the world’s best machines when it comes to absorbing carbon. Human activity emits about 11 gigatons of carbon and it is estimated that forests, fields, grasslands and oceans absorb about 6 gigatons. So if we plant more trees the 5 gigatons that goes into the atmosphere could get absorbed.
Most countries are now looking at increasing their forest to reduce emissions. Countries like the UK are actively looking at creating such Carbon Sinks by planting forests in urban areas as well.
So the thinking is that if we were to plant lots of trees we would be able to avert devastating climate change and all will be well. With the Arctic showing temperatures in excess of 30 degrees and several other parts of the world facing record breaking heat, this kind of quick, magical thinking is easy to accept. But, hold on, it’s a trap. Climate change is large, complex and scientific. Headlines grabbing ideas are fabulous to capture the public’s imagination, but just like the pandemic has shown us, there is no substitute for expert driven scientific advice.5981