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The global fashion business journal

Jun 12, 20244:51pm

European fashion reduces its CO2 emissions by 24% in ten years

In 2017, the European textile and leather industry emitted 8.7 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, compared to 11.4 billion tons in 2008.

Dec 3, 2019 — 8:54am
C. J.

European fashion reduces its CO2 emissions by 24% in ten years



Fashion in Europe is moving towards sustainability. More than 25,000 attendees, twenty heads of state, Greta Thunberg, and other activists and scientists. The 2019 climate Summit (COP25) started yesterday in Madrid and will go on until December 13. The goal of the event is the stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that prevents dangerous interference in the climate system.


Although fashion is one of the most polluting industries in the world, the sector has been taking more and more sustainable steps in the last ten years. The fashion industry in Europe has cut its carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions into the atmosphere by 24% between 2008 and 2017.


In 2017, textiles and leather industries emitted a total of 8.7 billion tons of CO2 into the atmosphere, compared to 11.4 billion tons in 2008. However, year-on-year, the sector increased its emissions by 1.3%.



The Italian ranks as the most polluting European fashion industry. In 2017, the sector emitted 2.6 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, representing 30.2% of the total fashion industry in the continent. Also, the country has been the one that decreased the less its emissions, by 15.8%.  


The second most polluting market in the fashion industry in Europe is the British, which in 2017 emitted 1.5 million tons. However, the country has managed to see the results of its sustainable goals, reducing its CO2 emissions to the atmosphere by 24.3%.





France occupies the third position within the most polluting fashion industries in the region, after emitting 834.1 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere in 2017. Although French textile and leather have increased their emissions by 1.9% between 2016 and 2017, the sector has reduced its pollution, emitting 36% less than in 2008.


Spain and Portugal, meanwhile, are the other two most polluting fashion industries in Europe. In Spain, the sector emitted 792.7 million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere in 2017, while Portuguese fashion emitted 760.8 million tons. However, the fashion industry in both countries has reduced pollution by 20.7% and 25.8% between 2008 and 2017, respectively.


Outside Europe, the story is different. The two main markets have taken a step back in their sustainability goals. Donald Trump has already started the process to get the United States out of the Paris Agreement, while China does not plan to cut its greenhouse gas emissions.

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