• Nuno Moreira da Cruz

Clothing industry: second (after Oil) most polluting industry

Updated: Sep 9, 2019



The apparel (clothing) industry is the second (after Oil) most polluting industry at the global scale. Its impact on climate range from water and chemicals consumption to landfill disposal, from children exploitation and work conditions in remote locations to the whole issue of fashion (“using more that one needs”). Addressing climate change issues relating to this industry is therefore key.

It is fair to say that the most relevant Companies in the industry are starting to seriously address the issue and some of what is going on can be found in this interview with Ellen MacArthur

One of the Companies that is really pushing hard to changing the business model (from linear production - take, use, dispose - to circular production - take, use, recycle, reuse) is Inditex.

The spanish based Company is one of the world’s largest fashion retailers, with several well known brands (such as Zara, Pull&Bear, Massimo Dutti, Bershka, Stradivarius, Oysho) selling in 202 markets through its online platform or its over 7,000 stores in 96 markets. Their policy on this more circular approach (they call it “closing the loop”) can be found here.

Inditex is also a great example of a Company with an integrated and holistic approach to Sustainability (which goes much further than just environment, it implies also social, governance and economic sustainable and integrated policies) ) As I often say, there are no Sustainability strategies, Sustainability is THE strategy. You need to feel it in every single process and action within the Company. Have a look at this newspaper article on Inditex to see how far they go with those details.

Well done Inditex!