The denim industry’s fight against climate change requires commitment from all parts of the supply chain.
On Monday, Hong Kong-based clothing manufacturer Crystal International Group Limited, which owns Crystal Denim, announced it joined the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action, a United Nations-spearheaded initiative that aims to unify the fashion industry in achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.
To-date, the initiative aligns the climate goals of 150 brands, companies and organizations in the apparel and fashion sector, including Levi Strauss, Stella McCartney, Inditex, Kering and VF Corp.
Goals include reducing 30 percent aggregate GHG emissions by 2030 and setting a decarbonization pathway for the fashion industry—benchmarks that closely follow the science-based targets initiative, which was established in partnership between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
While establishing any sort of sustainable target is ultimately a win for the environment, the industry can make a greater impact with a unified front.
“It is time for the fashion industry to step up climate actions collaboratively aligned with the goals of the Paris Agreement,” said Catherine Chiu, general manager of corporate quality and sustainability department of Crystal International. “We are keen to set an example for others and show our determination to combat climate change. We will engage actively in developing and enhancing the climate action agenda.”
Under the agreement, Crystal International will develop a climate strategy that improves its energy efficiency measures and utilizes a circular business model. It will also track and report GHG emissions consistent with standards to provide transparency into its progress.
The company has already made improvements in recent years, shifting to 100 percent Better Cotton Initiative-certified cotton and the using recycled polyester Repreve in its denim production. It’s also embraced virtual methods such as its digital showroom, which it recently established to present its sustainable 4Zero collection.
It also recently completed a study to develop a roadmap for long-term carbon reduction, and just last year installed a rooftop solar energy system in its factory in Vietnam. The new system is expected to reduce its emissions by approximately 500 tCO2e every year, or the equivalent of 108 passenger vehicles driven for one year.