Planetary Boundaries & Fashion Supply Chain

karun’s Blog (wesustainabletextileforum)

Planetary Boundaries is a science-based approach to looking at sustainability that identifies a safe operating space of us on earth. It measures the thresholds of this space across nine indicators of planetary health.

It was proposed in 2009 by a group of Earth system and environmental scientists, led by Johan Rockström from the Stockholm Resilience Centre and Will Steffen from the Australian National University. The group wanted to define a “safe operating space for humanity” for the international community, including governments at all levels, international organizations, civil society, the scientific community and the private sector, as a precondition for sustainable development. The framework is based on scientific evidence that human actions since the industrial revolution have become the main driver of global environmental change

The idea of planetary boundaries start with questioning like, what processes regulate the environmental stability of the Earth? And are there boundaries or thresholds for these processes? Information about the nine areas in the planetary boundaries framework can help to inform businesses and governments about the impacts of their business as usual scenarios and help to think of ways to improve their environmental impact. This refers to a specific point related to a global-scale environmental process beyond which humanity should not go

The nine areas that are defined in planetary boundaries are

1. Climate change
2. Biodiversity loss
3. Excess nitrogen and phosphorus production
4. Stratospheric ozone depletion
5. Ocean acidification
6. Global consumption of freshwater
7. Change in land use for agriculture,
8. Air pollution
9. Chemical pollution

Current status of Planetary Boundaries

source: Wikipedia

A planetary boundary may interact in a manner that changes the safe operating level of other boundaries.

In recent years, the planetary boundaries framework has attracted much attention as a tool for working with environmental issues on a global scale

The procedure can be used for translating the knowledge about planetary boundaries into sustainability targets for products, firms or sectors

The fashion industry is the world’s second-biggest polluter after fossil fuels

Fashion researchers suggest a procedure for linking the perspective of the planetary boundaries with the efforts of improving fashion supply chain impact on the planet.

Combining life cycle assessment and planetary boundaries, the fashion industry can measure the environmental footprint

A closer look at fashion’s environmental footprint using two groundbreaking analytical tools – the Planetary Boundaries (PB) framework and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)


Source: Mistra Future Fashion, Wikipedia, Mega.Online, kering

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