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What are UN's SGDs and how do they Relate to Fashion?

UN's Sustainable Developments Goals list sustainable development adopted by all United Nations. The list is designed to provide peace and prosperity for the people and the planet, now until the future. The 17 goals are a call for urgent action by all countries, developed and developing. These goals have evolved over the past 7 years, with brands being more sustainable in fashion and the public wanting more sustainable fashion and seeing its benefits in the long run, especially in the last 2 years.

“It is encouraging to see that young people are now driving a move towards a new environmentally-conscious and aware society – renting and hiring clothing and moving to saying a ‘no’ to fast fashion, is an important step in the right direction.” Professor Dan Parsons, director at Hull University’s Energy & Environment Institute.

The Sustainable Development Goals

SDG’s are a list of 17 leading issues that the UN feel that developing and developed nation can work on;

The few from this list that relates to the fashion industry are number 5 on the list, which is Gender Equality, this essential as most of the garment makers are women, paid less than the minimum wage for the work. The lack of Gender Equality is in the fashion industry is seen with the 85% of fashion graduates that were women. Yet, men are given a senior position in the fashion sector.

Goal 13, which is to help reduce climate change, away this relates to fashion is that fashion is the second most population industry (after oil). This goal benefits the fashion industry and helps the planet reduce products being reproduced and thrown into landfills. It has been estimated that by 2050 that 85% of fabrics will end up in landfills or come incinerated. The Climate Action goal will stop water pollution with the dyeing clothing when making them, as the fashion industry makes up 20% of global wastewater.

Goals 1 and 8 are goals to “end poverty in all its forms everywhere” and “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.” These goals benefit fashion as they allow workers to develop the right that they need, as the majority of garment workers are underpaid and don’t make a liveable wage in developing countries. If brands paying liveable wages workers would be able to afford food and or appropriate housing, and good quality food, and to also pay for education and healthcare.

How to benefit the SDGs in fashion?

Relevé Fashion

The brand aims to create an online shop that finds that are consciously crafted. Relevé is a place where sustainability and style, ethics and aesthetics coexist. They use designers that develops their integrity and values into their creations, designing today’s trends with the idea that future and sustainability is key.


H&M aim is to recycle or other sustainably sourced materials by 2030. They believe that fashion industry weighs heavy on natural resources and far too many textiles end up in trash bins and landfills. They are working thoroughly with upcycling, recycling, and reusing. A way that you can help with these issues is dropping off your old clothes and discarded textiles at several of H&M Group’s brands.


The company’s aim is to pre-loved clothes in one of Shwop boxes they’re resold, reused or recycled, so absolutely nothing goes to waste. Since 2008 M&S and Oxfam Shwopping partnership has collected over 35 million items, contributing an estimated £23 million to Oxfam’s vital work across the world.

Pandemic and SDG’s

The COVID-19 pandemic continued the reduction of carbon dioxide, reduce the effect of climate change, and however as lockdowns began to ease the levels of CO2 increased, causing pollution to increase. The relation to fashion is that the fast fashion began to become more seen as exploited as more people are willing to buy used things in charity shops.

Over the cross of the pandemic the fashion industry has changed. over the last 2 years, as it shown that Generation Z are more likely to turn to Sustainably fashion rather than fast fashion, and the SDGs from 2015 benefits fashion as it shows the popularity of sustainably fashion rather than fast fashion. As in 2021the YouGov poll, which examined the attitudes of 2,094 adults across the UK, found 25% of Gen Z have chosen second-hand or rented clothes over the festive season this year.


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