Economic, Social and Environmental impacts of fast fashionComments Off on Economic, Social and Environmental impacts of fast fashion 4606
$400 billion worth of clothing is wasted every year!
One garbage truck of clothes is burned or sent to landfill every second.
That’s enough to fill 1.5 Empire State buildings every day.
And it’s $400 billion of wasted clothing every year.
The average consumer bought 60% more cloths in 2014 than in 2000. But kept each item for half as long.
The world’s growing middle class is also driving consumption. And a 400% rise in world GDP by 2050 is only going to increase demand.
Making cloths uses a lot of the world’s resources. It takes 2,700 liters of water to make one cotton shirt. That’s what one person drinks in 2.5 years.
And making and washing one pair of jeans emits the same CO2 as driving 69 miles.
The fashion industry also has a heavy human cost… Garment workers in Bangladesh earn less than $100 per month. Just 30% of what they need to live a decent life.
There are initiatives to make our demand for clothing less damaging. Germany now reuses half of all used clothing.
Scientists are developing new materials that demand less from the environment.
And start-ups are encouraging consumers to rent, not buy clothes.
(Source: World Resources Institute)
Modeler : Sudhith Vidhush
How are you changing what you wear?
Think about how many sweaters, scarves and other clothes were given as gifts? How many times people wear them before throwing them out?
You will be surprised to hear probably far fewer than you think. One garbage truck of clothes is burned or sent to landfills every second!
Gone are the days when people would buy a shirt and wear it for years. In a world of accelerating demand for appeal, consumers want – and can increasingly afford – new clothing after wearing garments only a few times. Entire business models are built on the premise of “fast fashion,” providing cloths cheaply and quickly to consumer through shorter fashion cycles.
This linear fashion model of buying, wearing and quickly discarding clothes negatively impacts people and planet’s resources.
Here’s look at the economic, social and environmental implications:
According to the Ellen MCArthur Foundation, clothing production has approximately doubled in the last 15 years, driven by a growing middle-class population across the globe and increased per capita sales in developed economies. An expected 400 percent increase in world GDP by 2050 will mean even greater demand for clothing.
This could be an opportunity to do better. One report found that addressing environmental and social problems created by the fashion industry would provide a $192 billion overall benefit to the global economy by 2030. The annual value of clothing discarded permanently is more than $400 billion.
It takes 2,700 liters of water to make one cotton shirt.
Enough water for one person to drink for 21/2 years.
The Environmental impacts
Apparel production is also resource and emissions-intensive. Consider that:
Making a pair of jeans produces as much greenhouse gases as driving a car more than 80 miles.
Discarding clothing made of non-biodegradable fabrics can sit in landfills for up to 200 years.
It takes 2,700 liters of water to make one cotton shirt, enough to meet the average person’s drinking needs for two-and-a-half years.
The Societal impacts
Clothing production has helped spur growth in developing economies, but a closer look reveals a number of social challenges.
According to non-profit remake, 75 million people are making our cloths today, and 80% of apparel is made by young women between the ages of 18 and 24.
Garment workers, primarily women, in Bangladesh make about $96 per month. The government’s wage boards suggested that a garment worker needs 3.5 times that amount in order to live a “decent life with basic facilities.”
A 2018 U.S. Department of Labor report found evidence of forced and child labor in the fashion industry in Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Philippines, Turkey, Vietnam and other countries.
Rapid consumption of apparel and the need to deliver on short fashion cycles stresses production resources, often resulting in supply chains that put profits ahead of human welfare.
Designer: Nisansala Deegala
Model: Harini Silva
So, what do we do?
So, what does a more sustainable apparel industry look like, and how do we get there?
We’re starting to see some early signs of an industry in transition. Business models based on longevity, such as Rent the Runway and Gwynnie Bee, are the beginnings of an industry that supports reuse instead of rapid and irresponsible consumption.
Just as Netflix reimagined traditional film rental services and Lyft disrupted transportation, we are beginning to see option for consumers to lease clothing rather than buy and stash them in their closets. Ideally, an “end of ownership” in apparel will be implemented in a way that considers impacts of jobs, communities and the environment.
This is only the beginning of a radical transformation required. Apparel companies will increasingly have to confront the elephant in the boardroom and decouple their business growth from resource use. To meet tomorrow’s demand for clothing in innovative ways; companies will need to do what they have never done before: design, test and invest in business models that reuse cloths and minimize their useful life. For apparel companies, it’s time to disrupt or be disrupted.
By Deepal Sooriyaarachchi. Management Consultant, Author, Speaker, and Executive Coach.Former Managing Director of AVIVA NDB Insurance and a Former Commissioner of Sri Lanka Inventors Commission.
The current crisis compels us to review all our operations from a ground zero position without taking knee jerk reactions. Experts who have examined many organizations that have survived major crisis whether they are internal or external driven, tell us one of the most important things is to consider what is the core purpose of the organization, what are the core capabilities of the organizations, and what are the strategic steps that must be taken leveraging them. In that situation what is equally important is asking the question of whether the same strengths will be relevant in the emerging new scenario. In our economy, the public sector plays a significant role. With 1.5 million public servants, more than 600, 0000 pensioners, and all the politicians accounts for at least 40% of the national expenditure.
There had been a number of efforts to rationalize and improve the public sector with various
initiatives. I myself was once volunteered to serve on one such initiative called the National
Administrative Reforms Commission ( NARC). But they were not done at times when the need
is so compelling. In management, we talk of showing the elephant in the room to make change relevant.
The present situation is an ideal moment to approach to Rationalize, Right Size, and Improve
the productivity of the public sector organizations because of a number of reasons.
1. The Current Financial Situation in the country is one of the worst we have been so the need to rationalize expenses is seen as one of the topmost tasks. 2. The last two months gave us ample opportunities to try newer ways of working and service delivery and people have experienced the efficiency and effectiveness of those so we will be able to sell the change. 3. There is a leadership that is visionary and willing to move the change agenda forward.
In order to develop a discussion and to move towards a national action plan the writer wishes to make a few proposals that can have far-reaching consequences. These are written not as an expert on public policy and administration but as a concerned citizen with some knowledge and experience in management.
1. CENTRALIZE VEHICLE OWNERSHIP
Most service organizations even in the public sector employee cost and transportation-related costs account for a high proportion of the overall cost. One can assume the same with the government agencies. I was trying to find out the latest statistics pertaining to the number of vehicles and associated costs but was not possible. But having led a government agency for a short period of three years I have made the following observations.
– Most government vehicles are overused and due to lack of cash flow reasons they are not maintained at optimum levels.
– Due to the very laborious process involved with selling off an old vehicle in many organizations, there are vehicles just left to decay. There are many such yards.
– Vehicle usage is not optimum. Every organization will have a number of vehicles.
– There is a lot of management time spent to ensure the governance processes involved with using these vehicles yet misuses are very common.
– Every institution is duty-bound to maintain detailed running charts and these have to be sent to the AGs department for scrutiny.
Rather than allowing every single organization to own vehicles, re-acquire all the non-strategic vehicles to a central transport service corporation that can be operated as a fully pledged cab company using an ICT platform such as Uber or Pick Me. Preauthorize the Type of vehicle that can be used by different grades of officers and encourage ride-shares by giving bonus points. This will cut down waste, improve efficiency, and be able to provide better quality vehicles for the officers to travel as well. Because this institution’s core responsibility is vehicle fleet management it will ensure proper maintenance and upkeep of vehicles. This kind of arrangement will provide valuable data to manage vehicle usage and resource planning. I am sure this is not a new suggestion.
2. MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS
In order to optimize the scarce resources suggest organizations that have similar mandates and those that can produce better results through synergy be merged into single entities. To do this meaningfully a high powered cross-functional team must be appointed with Legal, Financial, ICT, Human Resources, and Public Administration experience and expertise. More importantly, those individuals must be those capable of thinking out of the box.
Eg all trading organizations such as state trading Corporations, etc can be brought under LANKA SATOSA.
The businesses that are better done by the private sector the government can exit ie. Salusala and Laksala etc. All research institutes must be brought under a central authority to ensure proper coordination where resource allocation must be done based on the short to medium term needs of the country. This can avoid duplication of limited resources.
There can be many other departments and agencies that do overlapping functions while there are no organizations to address newer issues. These are made more complex of the Provincial Council structure and the plethora of ministries created to accommodate politicians to ensure power consolidation in the parliament. These structural changes will require changes in respective acts and comprehensive M&A work. Before embarking on detailed work a preliminary study should be done to reveal the financial and social impact. However, the starting points could be restructuring commercial organizations.
2. CREATE CENTRALIZED SUPPORT SERVICES.
Centralize all the support services such as Human Resources, Administrative, Procurement, and Finance functions of those clustered entities so they can focus on core delivery function. This model should be tried at least for different institutions under a single ministry.
3. WORK FROM HOME (WFH) and Provide end to end service online.
Identify functions that can be done remotely in as many organizations as possible and create
infrastructure, and work norms for the state employees to work from home, take files home
complete, and deliver on given deadlines. They will have to be monitored not by the number of
hours they work but by the delivery of outputs. This will ease off the pressure on transport, operational costs of offices, and the personal costs of employees. Some institutions can work for less than five days a week without affecting delivery to the public. Encourage the public also to visit the government offices by making prior appointments. There can be some other organizations whose work can be done significantly online ie obtaining ISBN numbers by authors and facilitate online payments and credit card payments.
4. STRENGTHEN THE GRAMA SEVAKA OFFICE
Strengthen the GS office by converting it to the GS division based government contact center by attaching at least one of the newly recruited graduates. His/her job should act as a facilitator between the citizens and different government institutions. He or she should read and explain all the requirements to citizens, certify and upload applications and supporting documents, give clear instructions as to how to approach requirements needed by the government. This should ease the work of service providers, reduce repetitive visits by the citizens. The GS office should be equipped with Internet Connections, Video Conferencing facility, and high speed or at least
a flatbed scanning facility.
5. STRENGTHEN THE POSTAL DEPARTMENT AS THE LAST LEG DELIVERY PARTNER FOR E-COMMERCE.
Allow the post offices to hire three-wheelers so the postman’s delivery area can be increased
and what can be carried too will be enhanced. This way they can specialize in delivering
pensions and such needs of the elderly, thus creating a very powerful user-friendly customer
service. Eventually, the profits can lead the postman to use their own Three Wheelers. POST is
the largest distribution network in the country. It might make sense for the Postal Department to
be converted to a commercial establishment fully owned or as a Joint Venture with a Logistics
company so Sri Lanka Post can be a fully pledged modern distribution network. If not, the
department will continue to be a major cost center without even being able to pay salaries of the
7. DISTRIBUTION OF PHARMACEUTICAL ITEMS.
Leverage the experiences of the recent medicine distribution through post offices and build a centralized platform that can be used by private as well as public pharmacies to distribute
medicine and dispense them to patients. Doctors should send the prescription to the preferred
pharmacy of the customer. They can either collect or get them delivered. This will improve the
regulated medicine consumption. There may be some legislative changes needed to make
8. A PLATFORM TO BOOK GOVERNMENT SPACES
Create a platform such as booking.com where every single meeting room is listed, so they can
be used and shared by different government users and if available even by private sector
organizations. This will generate new income for those institutions.
These are just a few simple ideas that can propel changes in the system if implemented.
A warm and friendly nature reflected in tireless smiling faces, and willingness to help those unaware with phases of local life. From the beautiful beaches of the South-Western coast to the toe tapping and exuberant Kandyan dances, along with the majestic and ancient architecturally and archeologically distinguished cities. Bright, sunny warm days are in abundance and are common even during the height of the monsoon. The humble desire to share this experience of heartfelt warmth and the true hospitality of the people living in the small miracle in the Indian Ocean called Sri Lanka, a homely villa was built named Blue Oceanic, which is now the Jetwing Blue, with just six rooms in the early 1970s facing the sandy beaches in the Negombo City.
A simple dream of sharing the uniqueness of this beautiful island, one of the largest, most respected, and recognized tourism organizations were born. Herbert Cooray – a visionary, a pioneer of tourism in Sri Lanka and the founding father of Jetwing, the largest family of hotels and villas across Sri Lanka, opened its doors to the world welcoming them to a family of hotels like no other.
Inspired by Herbert Cooray, his son Hiran joined Jetwing as soon as he completed his education graduating from the University of North Carolina, USA, prior to which he studied at St. Joseph’s in Colombo. Following family tradition seems to be established. Just like Hiran his sister Shiromal took up their father’s legacy. At 29 years of age, Herbert Cooray left his job to join the family business N. J. Cooray Builders – a building construction company which was founded by Herbert’s father, Jeremias.
The founding principles his father inculcated in Hiran and the family have today become the very pillars that Jetwing group operates on: “…Passion, Honesty, Integrity and Tenacity – these were the values my father instilled in us throughout our lives and they continue to be the Jetwing family philosophy. It is the secret of our success. I have the incredible honor and the responsibility now to do justice to his legacy.
The essence of simplicity and modest allure, Hiran is a son who continues to do his father proud.
BiZnomics had the pleasure of speaking to the veteran hotelier HIRAN COORAY of his journey and experience gained throughout.
Q: What was the foundation for Jetwing?
A: It all started with my dad in 1973. He started off with the Blue Oceanic Hotel in Negombo with just six rooms and later moved on to further rooms. It was just a simple beginning eventually created the Jetwing family. It was a time that no one really thought of tourism, and for some reasons it progressed quite well for the next 10 years. Then he moved onto building Royal Oceanic. Blue Oceanic now goes as Jetwing Blue and the Royal Oceanic is Jetwing Beach. During those 10 years my dad probably would have owned about five hotels. Although towards the ‘80s the troubles broke out, it didn’t really stop him from expanding. In fact, that was the time he started Jet Travels, which eventually became Jetwing Travels at the end of the 1980s.
Q: How did young Hiran get involved in the whole thing?
A: Being a Josephian, my only interest was in cricket at that time. I was the Vice-Captain of the school team and represented the Sri Lanka Schools as well. However, I realized there would be no future in cricket so that I concentrated on my studies. I went to North Carolina, Greensboro University and came back in 1987. It was also my father’s decision that made me come back. 1987- 1989 probably would have been the worst two years of history, having riots breaking out all over the country on top of the ongoing civil war but my father wanted me to come back and that’s just what I did. A degree doesn’t really tell you anything when it comes to practical knowledge. Within a year he made me the Managing Director, my father’s words were “if Castro could control a country at the age of 25, why is it difficult for you to run a company at the same age?”
Q: What are the set of goals for Jetwing?
A: What we want is to be the ‘Best service provider in the country’. In whichever way we expand we want to be the best at it. As my father used to say, provide a legendary service. In order to provide it, we have to look after our staff as much as we look after our guests. That is one of the main goals and we work on that continuously. We have been pioneering in to different new areas of tourism. We were the first to build hotels in Galle in 1995. Other than New Oriental (now Amangalla) there was nothing else. My father built there when everyone said it was going to be a failure. We started Lighthouse which is an iconic hotel in Galle. Then we went to Wellawaya when people questioned why? Again we educated people in Sri Lanka why one should visit Wellawaya. We then built in Potuvil. It is a Muslim village in the deep South East corner of Sri Lanka. People always have that question as to why? We built in Jaffna. We were the first company from the South to go to Jaffna. There were hotels there of course, but we were the first to go from this end. We have the pioneering spirit, creating opportunities and taking the lead.
Almost all our hotels were in the high-end category, but now we are working on the budget brand. We were the first to introduce that as well in 2013 called Hotel J in Negombo. Now there are three budget hotels, Hotel J Ambalangoda, Negombo and Unawatuna.
It is quite similar to a low cost carrier. You will have to buy everything apart from the seat provided in the aircraft. Similarly our brand provided at hotel J is a clean room, clean bathroom, air conditioning, WiFi, and safety. If you are a single female traveler, you must feel safe in a room. That is the five brand promises we give at hotel J. Everything else including carrying your own bag is your responsibility. And you will have to purchase everything including the bottle of water in to the room.
Q: How do you maintain the standards of the company and its employees?
A: Continuous training. We have to be at it every day.
Q: Do you have a gender balance in your organization?
A: We are the only organization that has five female General Managers. We are very proud of that they do an amazing job. The fact that we have females in this position motivated others to improve themselves to achieve their goals. We started these 20 years ago and it is not a new concept for us. All our staff has the opportunity to grow in the company. A good example is the Manager at Jetwing Sea, who started as a security guard. We allow people to develop and it also should be in them to develop themselves by taking the opportunities.
Q: If a female employee is sexually harassed, how would it be handled?
A: We have very strict rules on those. We educate our staff on what can be said and what cannot be said, how important it is to behave in certain ways in the company. Even a simple touch is not allowed. It is a serious offence in the company and we take disciplinary action against such behavior.
Q: How does the political uncertainty affect foreign investments in our country?
A: Government policies are essential to attract foreign investors. Whenever a government changes policies change and can discourage that investors in tourism and other fields. We are sons of the soil so we have left with no choice. When foreign investors know that our policies change every time a government changes, they will not think of a long term or a safe investment environment in this country.
Q: How likely is it that a customer recommends your hotel to another?
A: We make sure the service we provide is of no comparison. The relationship we maintain with the local community, what we do to preserve the environment, all those factors are important to place your high up in the industry. People are very much aware of the environmental impact and community involvement. If you genuinely do that, look after the local community, employ and create opportunities for the local community and also look after the environment, and you showcase it, the customer who studies and buys a product will always choose the right one over others. That’s one of the very obvious difference between Jetwing and others.
We have a programme called JYDP ‘Jetwing Youth Development Programme’ which we started in the year 2006 and up to now we proudly say we have trained nearly one thousand youngsters in the hospitality industry and the English language.
Q: A little bit more on the political side. What do you think is the future status of this country?
A: My wish is that the private sector will not be dependent on politicians. The private sector has a very important role to play, irrespective of who is in leadership. The private sector must continue to play the role. The private sector should not get involved in lobbying and directing politicians. A politician should look at the country in the long term aspect, viability, sustainability of the country, and I will support anyone who thinks long term, not only till they serve the number of years. Sadly they think short term.
Q: What are your thoughts on taxation?
A: We live out of this land; hence we have to pay something for that. As long as it is bearable it is fine. I mean the Government provides certain facilities free like medical and education. That is a huge cost to the government. Somebody has to pay for it. We can’t really be borrowing to pay for those essential requirements.
I am very much against giving free higher education. Maybe the government should provide a loan facility at a very low interest rate to pay off in a certain number of years, as students have no value over what they get free. When you are given free education, they expect the government to find them a job as well. What can they actually do for themselves in that case? As a youth you should not be a burden to the country. Appreciate what you get and learn to stand on your own feet. The Government educates them free, give degrees free, and then as it is, a job should follow. How unreasonable can they be?
Value what you get free; at the same time be a responsible citizen, not a burden to the country. That’s something I very strongly believe. Appreciate what the country is doing for you. It is all our taxed money that the Government is utilizing on their education. They should at least appreciate that fact.
Q: What is the biggest people problem you are facing right now?
A: Leaving the country. After training them so hard when they leave, it hurts the company.
In a nutshell
Q: One word that describes you best?
Q: What are your three biggest accomplishments?
A: Number one: I am blessed with three great sons.Number two: Carrying on what my father started and adding value to the tourism industry in this country.
Number three: Being chosen as the Chairman of the Pacific Asia Travel Association the only Sri Lankan to be chosen from a small island to chair that organization for two years.
Q: What animal do you like most?
A: I am a bird watcher. It is fascinating to see their colors. I get much inspiration through that.
Q: What do you do outside work?
A: Watching cricket matches and I like walking.
Q: On a scale of 1-10 how lucky are you?
A: 10 definitely.
Q: What kind of books do you read?
A: I love reading management books, religious books, biographies and sports.
Q: If I am to take over your position, what advice would you give me?
A: Be humble, willing to learn and an honest leader.
Q: When it is all over, how do you want to be remembered?
A: A simple man who tried to make a difference (laughingly).