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Ecological Cost of Consumer Fashion Choices Revealed by New Carbon Footprint Calculator

06 March 2020 - 11:29 by Mike Price

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A new calculation tool supported by various environmental campaigners, including celebrities such as actress Emma Watson, has been launched in order to raise awareness of the negative impact that particular spending habits can have on the planet.

In particular, the calculator focuses on the fashion industry, demonstrating that a typical shopper will generate almost 740kg of carbon dioxide each year because of the clothes they buy both via safe shopping online and on the high street.

The fashion market is an especially complicated and convoluted one to consider in the context of its environmental impact, since clothing is sourced from around the world, and it is not just the manner in which it is produced that is a concern but also how much waste is associated with ordering and returning products over time.

Campaigners are hoping that by raising awareness of the problems that can come with buying fashion items thoughtlessly, consumers will begin to adjust their habits and do more to make sure that the decisions they make are led by eco concerns.

The problem with so-called ‘fast fashion’ is that it has encouraged a culture of disposability within the fashion industry, with consumers ramping up spending on products throughout the year that they will ultimately not wear very regularly, if at all.

Furthermore, the liberal returns policies operated by many retailers means that shoppers are effectively incentivised to order multiple versions of an item or outfit and then send back those they do not want, which all builds up a carbon footprint.

Add to this the fact that subscription-based clothing services are growing in prominence, and it is clear that the calls for increased eco-awareness with regards to this niche of the retail market are timely.