On 22 April of this year, marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Not to be confused by World Wide Fund for Nature's Earth Hour (that's the one where we're encouraged to turn off non-essential electrical lights for an hour every 28 March), Earth Day is an annual event to encourage the awareness of the environmental challenges suffered by our planet.
Earth Day takes a different theme each year and for 2020, the focus is on climate action. With climate change having been such a hot button issue globally in the past couple of years, there's a need to push for more legislation and efforts to work towards solving the global crisis. And as we're all facing another crisis at the moment, Earth Day is going digital this year with a host of live stream events.
We can't negate the fact that fashion is one of the most polluting industries in the world. There are no actual concrete figures to rank where fashion stands on the scale, but according to multiple studies and reports done, it's safe to assume that fashion is at the bottom half of the top 10 most polluting industries; not as destructive as oil, but it's still not great.
Last year, the luxury space has been inundated with talks about moving towards more sustainable production methods and using materials that have leave less carbon footprints. Brands such as Prada have pledged to tweak manufacturing processes to allow for more innovative solutions—in Prada's case, the fashion house's hallmark nylon fabric is targeted to be fully recyclable by the end of 2021. At Gucci, it was announced in September 2019 that the fashion house has achieved carbon neutrality within its entire operations and supply chain. This was done partly through offsetting remaining Greenhouse Gas emissions by taking part in crucial projects that support forest conservation around the world.
For Earth Day this year, Polo Ralph Lauren is amping up in its commitment to using 170 million plastic bottles in its product and packaging by 2025, by expanding on the annual Earth Polo capsule collection. The iconic polo shirts in the Earth Polo series—produced in partnership with First Mile, an organisation focused on sustainability—are made entirely using thread derived from recycled plastic bottles and dyed using an innovative process that uses no water at all. The brand reports that each polo is made using an average of 12 plastic bottles.
Even multi-label e-commerce platforms are getting in on the movement. In conjunction with Earth Day's 50th anniversary, Vestiaire Collective has created the 'Wardrobe Reality Check' challenge. Aiming to inspire consumers to be more mindful of their purchases and build a more eco-conscious wardrobe, Vestiaire Collective has created an easy-to-follow four-step guide to start on the journey and attempt the challenge.
London-based company Farfetch is changing the way it delivers its goods to customers. Through a term it's calling 'Climate Conscious Delivery', the company is aiming to reduce its carbon footprint by regulating the use of more environmentally friendly packaging, as well as offsetting the carbon emissions. Additionally, Farfetch is also highlighting eco-conscious brands within its platform to further emphasise on the need to be more environmentally friendly.
There have been significant efforts by some players in the fashion industry for change. And while some may not be as extensive as others, it does make a difference in trying to alleviate the situation and perhaps work towards something more long-term.