Time to learn your SDGs
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the name given to an agenda that promises a more hopeful and prosperous future for us, and the world we live in. Taken on by all United Nations member states, SDGs are an in depth plan, with goals all in hope of transforming our planet, a list of 17 goals to be precise.
These are all attempts to approach issues of poverty, climate change, health and education with the outcome being beneficial to us, and those that will come after.
Being self-aware of the world around us seems a relatively new phenomenon, but the SDG agenda was developed back in 2015, bringing to attention important issues that need to change. The responsibility of taking action to progress our world has been allocated to all countries, no matter what state of development they are in, creating a 'Global Partnership'.
Due to our society's attitude towards changing for the better, we are now conscious of the need for a sustainable future. This feels most urgent in the world of clothing production and in the age of fast fashion. With consumption and production being one of the 17 goals designed to change the planet for the better, looking into its largest and most profitable source, is a good start.
Consumption and Production
Supply and demand is the main outline of how production and consumption came to be so vital in the world we live in. We (the consumers) are more often than not, willing to settle for cheaper and more convenient options, in particular with clothing. When taking a deeper look into the journey from factory to wardrobe, is this the most sustainable method? Much of the time, there is no second guess as to how garments are manufactured but as society is getting increasingly aware of it's carbon footprint, things are on the road to change.
Up-cycling and thrifting are not longer exclusively a part of alt/indie subculture. It was reported that only 1% of clothes are recycled into new ones, and therefore enforces the necessity for a smarter way of consumption. The push to buy your clothes with your morals as well as your purse, is now more fuelled than ever with the motivation to reduce climate change. This surge in mindfulness can be considered a result of influential fashion pages using their platform for the better.
"In response to such activism and education, in 2019, internet searches for 'sustainable fashion' increased by more than three times compared to 2016, and this trend is expected to continue in the forecast period."
For me, For you
Whilst the efforts to shop sustainably are important in ensuring the wellbeing of our planet, we must also ensure the wellbeing of its inhabitants. When evaluating the production of clothes across the world, the standards of workplace environment are still ethically questionable. Those that work in poor conditions are made to work 14 to 16 hour days in order to reach deadlines, with very little pay. Not only this but the physical state of the locations can be sub-par, resulting in fatal accidents.
In 2013, after the collapse of 'Rana Plaza', the 'Bangladesh Accord' was created to make changes to factory safety.
"The Accord is very important for workplace safety. The Accord works independently and neutrally and has earned a good reputation and credibility, abroad and among workers. The Accord ensures the safety of the workplace for workers." - Babul Akhter, Bangladesh Garment & Industrial, Workers Federation (BGIWF), union signatory to the Accord.
As these are the conditions people are working in all over the world, there was also a new International Accord introduced in August 2021. This was dedicated to improving fire and building safety across the globe. They are still now, looking for as many brand signatures as possible in order to reach maximum success for those in harsh work environments.
It becomes easy to get overwhelmed at the amount of work that goes into having a brighter future, often people wonder what they can do to really help. Gaining an education and learning about how you can help in small ways is the best start. By informing yourself, you already have a head start.
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