California retailers must be carbon neutral by 2045
The Governor of California has signed an executive order to make the state
carbon neutral by December 2045. It marks one of the world’s most ambitious
climate policies, that will impact consumers and business on national and
The new law requires the world’s fifth largest economy to generate 100
percent of its electricity from carbon-free sources by the end of 2045,
noted the San Francisco Chronicle. A decree applicable to the many garment
and textile manufacturers in California.
Governor Jerry Brown further directed state agencies to figure out how to
make the entire economy carbon neutral within the time frame, requiring
everything from manufacturing to transportation maintaining “net
negative emissions” beyond 2045.
According to Ecotextiles, he textile industry uses huge quantities of
fossil fuels to create energy directly needed to power the mills, produce
heat and steam, and power air conditioners, as well as indirectly to create
the many chemicals used in production.
The textile industry is highly energy inefficient
In addition, the textile industry has one of the lowest efficiencies in
energy utilization because it is largely antiquated. For example, it takes
3886 MJ of energy to produce 25 yards of nylon fabric (about the amount
needed to cover one sofa). To put that into perspective, 1 gallon of
gasoline equals 131 MJ of energy; driving a Lamborghini from New York to
Washington D.C. uses approximately 2266 MJ of energy.
Textile manufacturing is highly mechanised and far more energy-intensive
than apparel manufacturing. Environmental concerns (e.g., from dying and
washing) and stringent regulations involved with textile manufacturing will
make it a challenge for brands and retailers to commit to California’s
carbon neutral stance. Organisations such as the San Francisco Sustainable
Fashion Alliance and Fibershed, a network of Northern California textile
artisans, wool producers, and growers of cotton, indigo and other dye
plants are committed to bringing sustainable innovation to the larger
fashion industry. Hopefully other states will follow suit.
Photo credit: Fashion Revolution Day, source: Sustainable Fashion
Alliance, Article source: SF Chronicle