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Fashion Forward: Greening China's Apparel Manufacturing

Many consumers don’t realize that apparel manufacturing can be hugely polluting — and especially so to the environment in China, where roughly half of the world’s textiles are produced. Luckily, there are many easy ways for factories to cut down on energy and resource use and adopt more environmentally-friendly production processes. Part of the challenge is motivating factories to implement these best practices, which may seem daunting but can actually pose significant cost reduction benefits for manufacturers.

We sat down with Linda Greer, Senior Scientist on the Health Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), to discuss NRDC’s efforts to green fashion production in China. Linda launched NRDC’s Clean by Design program in 2009 in order help to alleviate the burden of textiles manufacturing on China’s environment and natural resources. The program works with brands’ manufacturers to scale up the adoption of low-cost, high-efficiency improvements that reduce the overall supply chain environmental load.

To learn more about Clean by Design, check out this overview. Linda also recently published a blog calling on apparel companies to adopt science-based targets for carbon reductions in their supply chains, which you can access here.

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