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With Australian Fashion Week coming to a close this week, we bear witness to over-consumption, excess waste and contribution to greenhouse gases as a result of an industry that depends on burning fossil fuels to keep up with rates of mass production.
According to Fashion on Climate, the fashion industry contributes approximately 2.1 billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions in a single year, equivalent to 4% of all global emissions.
It’s clear that fashion needs a major systemic overhaul to fight the climate crisis.
But does the solution already exist?
Fairtrade is a certification that began in the late 1960’s when Oxfam UK started selling crafts from refugees to help facilitate financial independence. In 1964 it created the first Fairtrade Organisation.
The certification is set up to protect and empower farmers and workers around the world. It engages manufacturers and workers in the supply chain to bring about better wages and safer working conditions and engages brands to commit to fair terms of trade.
It also addresses climate change through its Fairtrade Climate Standard. This standard enables farmers to become more resilient to climate change by allowing producers, farmers, and workers to spend Fairtrade Premium – extra money they get from sales of Fairtrade certified crops and products, on projects such as tree planting, irrigation, crop diversification, and clean energy, which are more sustainable and contribute to the fight against climate change.
Further, Fairtrade Carbon Credits in partnership with the Gold Standard enable farming communities in developing countries to benefit from access to carbon finance to tackle the effects of climate change. Farmers get a double benefit from Fairtrade Carbon Credits because they get a minimum price to cover the costs of setting up and running a project, and in addition they can use the Fairtrade Premium on every credit sold to invest in adaption and mitigation.
Tackling the climate crisis is now a social justice issue and a matter of survival for the worst affected who are facing extreme weather conditions. These conditions and natural disasters often affect the most vulnerable of our global community and it is all our responsibility, including governments, businesses and individuals to support and pioneer solutions to the climate crisis. These solutions are vast and can start with small steps like reducing your plastic consumption, banking with a responsible institution or simply supporting ethical, sustainable and Fairtrade businesses.
Whilst Fairtrade certification is by no means a silver bullet for the fashion industry, it certainly addresses systemic social and environmental issues and gives hope for a better brighter more healthy planet.
For more information visit: wfto.com/fairtradeday2022/
Mighty Good Basics have been certified under Fairtrade for 6 years.