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Nordic Fashion to Become the Most Sustainable in the World

The Nordic Ministers for the Environment are taking steps to make fashion and textiles created in the region the most sustainable in the world.

The Danish Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers is putting plans in place to ensure the region will “lead the way when it comes to sustainable design, consumption and production.” The plans consists of a series of specific sustainable initiatives the council will work on through 2017.

For the average consumer in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, the amount of water required to produce textiles each year is significantly more than the amount consumed by one three-person household in the region. Textile production also produces the same amount of carbon dioxide as a 2,000-kilometer (1,243-mile) car journey.

The initiative’s main goal is for fashion and textiles to be recycled in a circular economy by 2050, extending the life cycle of fibers.

“We want to develop a Nordic academy for sustainable fashion and design to educate designers throughout the region in sustainability,” Denmark’s minister for the environment Kirsten Brosbøl, said. “There’s also a range of new business opportunities within green fashion–the Region can contribute to solving global environmental problems while creating growth and jobs.”

The Nordic Council emphasized the fact that the fashion and textile industries have a tremendous need for water, energy, chemicals and pesticides, making it one of the world’s biggest polluters and resulting in devastating effects on the industries’ workers and the environment.

“We share our Nordic neighbors’ focus on the environment, social responsibility, and green growth, making our co-operation on fashion and textiles a natural step forwards. We are going to create sustainable clothing for a circular economy in which fashion lasts longer and textile fibers are used over and over again,” Brosbøl said.