Two thirds of fashion bosses think hazardous chemicals will 'likely' be phased out of industry within six years, reveals survey

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30th October 2019 15:43 - Chemicals

Two thirds of fashion bosses think hazardous chemicals will 'likely' be phased out of industry within six years: A survey of fashion executives has revealed that two thirds believe that it is likely by 2025 that the fashion industry will no longer use hazardous chemicals.  

The poll of 64 executives for consulting business, McKinsey & Company found that 27% believe it is 'highly likely' that hazardous substances will be phased out, while more than four in ten (42%) said it is 'somewhat likely'. 

More than half the respondents polled for the McKinsey Apparel CPO Survey 2019 said that within six years they want at least 50% of their products to be constructed from materials that are sustainable. This was the top-ranking objective when asked about the top three sustainable apparel sourcing topics at the top of their company’s agenda for the next 5 years.

In second place was transparency and traceability, followed by supplier relationships and purchasing practices. 

Ecological footprint and circular economy were in fifth and sixth position, followed by plastics/packaging and sustainability transformation. 

When asked about the future of sustainable apparel sourcing by 2025 in terms of their company's ecological footprint, 61% said that it is likely that waterless processing will be the norm for more than 50% of clothing production.

Just under a quarter said this was 'very likely' while 38% said it was 'somewhat likely'. 

More than half the respondents polled (51%) said that by 2025, suppliers would be on track to reach the targets set in the Fashion Charter for Climate Action for GHG emissions (-30% by 2030). More than a third (38%) said that this was ‘somewhat likely’, while 13% thought it was 'very likely'. 

Edwin Keh, CEO of the Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel said: “Moving away from petroleum-based raw materials will certainly be a major step. Moving away from very water-intensive, chemical intensive materials or traditional cotton is also a big opportunity. And there will be much more recycled content: there is so much useful material that we are either landfilling or incinerating that provides areas for opportunity.”

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