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SAN FRANCISCO — The fashion industry is responsible for as many as 38,000 climate change deaths a year, claims a new report. Global environmental organisation, Stand.earth released its ‘Too Deadly to Wear’ report this week, detailing the fashion industry’s “outsized role” in the impacts of climate change and air pollution across the globe.

In 2016, the fashion industry caused 2,764,000 additional premature deaths or disabilities as a direct result of toxic pollution from its facilities and coal-fired plants powering them, claims the report.

The NGO – unfairly we believe – singles out US denim brand, Levi Strauss, claiming the company’s annual climate pollution is equal to that of 1.1 million cars. “Many of Levi’s factories are located in pollution hot spots in China,” says the report.

“99 per cent of Levi’s climate pollution comes from its supply chain. Yet the company has no policy, and has taken no meaningful action, to address impacts outside of its owned operations.

“With its financial strength, global brand recognition, and stated commitment to environmental sustainability, Levi’s is positioned to lead the fashion industry into ambitious climate action.”

Todd Paglia, executive director at Stand.earth says: “The fashion industry is the source of approximately 8 per cent of global climate pollution — if it were a nation, it would be the fourth largest climate polluter on Earth. Yet major brands like Levi’s continue to drag their feet on comprehensive climate action, ignoring the massive amount of pollution hiding in their supply chain.

“The report findings are incredibly clear: the fashion industry’s fossil fuel addiction contributes to deadly air pollution and climate change. The fashion industry doesn’t have the luxury to stand on the sidelines — climate solutions are readily available, but immediate action is required, and Levi’s can lead the way.”

A fuller review of this report will appear in the printed edition of Apparel Insider, out in late June.

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