Female Movie Star Calls for Sustainable Development in Fashion Industry

October 11, 2018
Editor: Xie Wen
Female Movie Star Calls for Sustainable Development in Fashion Industry
Michelle Yeoh [Xinhua]


Movie star Michelle Yeoh recently attended the 2018 UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in New York as a goodwill ambassador, calling on more people to pursue an eco-friendly, sustainable lifestyle.

Yoeh has appeared in many films including Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Memoirs of a Geisha and the James Bond series.

The actress delivered a speech at the event and said, "The fashion industry is one of the largest and most productive industries in the world,with a total market value at over 2.5 trillion U.S. dollars hiring over 75 million employees. And the profit generated by the fashion industry has doubled since 2009.

At present, it consumes 100 million tons of textiles each year, and it is estimated to have increased to 300 million tons by 2050."

Yoeh said if the entire fashion industry is taken as an independent economy, its market size would rank seventh in the world.

However, while creating enormous value, the development of the fashion industry has also brought about severe environmental pollution and social problems.

According to her, wastewater discharged by the fashion industry accounts for 20 percent of the global total, and the carbon dioxide released accounts for 10 percent of the total amount, the sum of which exceeds the accumulated total of all international flights and ocean shipping emissions.

In addition, in recent years, the fashion industry has also become one of the main causes of marine plastic pollution.

Some researchers estimated that 500,000 tons of microscopic plastic fibers are discharged into rivers and oceans every year in the process of washing synthetic materials such as polyester, nylon and acrylic.

Cotton, which is one of the main raw materials for garment production, consumes 24 percent of the world's insecticides and 11 percent of pesticides. In addition to environmental impacts, the fashion industry is often associated with impoverished working conditions, low wages, and even modern slavery and child labor.

As the global middle class continues to grow and develop, the demand for fashion clothing will continue to increase. Michelle said making the fashion industry sustainable is a global development challenge; the fashion industry is critical to building a sustainable society, and every consumer's choice of buying in the fashion sector will have an impact on the future.

During the forum, the short film Made in Forests was released, which was produced by the UN Economic Commission for Europe/Food and Agriculture Organization's (UNECE/FAO) Forestry and Timber Section, together with the United Nations Television in Geneva.

The film clip shows how modern technology can be applied to producing clothing in a natural and environmentally-sustainable way, thereby providing a simple and practical solution for building a better society.

Michelle explained that, "This film describes how to extract sustainable fiber from forests through modern technology, which is eco-friendly with little impact on the ecosystem, and can be adapted to different parts of the world.

The extraction of this sustainable fiber increases the value of forest products, promotes returning farmland to forests, and provides supports for rural communities' development. Currently, this forest fiber has been used in the textile industry, and is expected to be further promoted."

Michelle also said only when everyone can consciously change their consumption habits and lifestyles can the UN's 2030 sustainable development goals be realized.

(Source: Fnews.cc/ Translated and edited by Women of China)

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