Is fast fashion slowing down? How global trade is being used as a ‘force for good’

In the world of fast fashion, where trends are born as quickly as they are discarded, global trade regulations have struggled to keep pace with relentless cycles of production and consumption.

In attempting to meet the demands of this fast-paced sector, global trade has historically failed to address the troubling reality hiding behind the industry’s glamorous façade: a supply chain tainted by human rights abuses and forced labor.

But experts say that’s changing.

In 2022, the US Department of Homeland Security began enforcing the standards for manufacturing and trade under the Uyghur Forced Labor Protection Act to crack down on Asian goods that US officials suspect are the product of forced labor by imprisoned ethnic minorities. Those include the Uyghurswhose maltreatment has been extensively documented.

The United States has banned a large number of garment imports from Vietnam, a major exporter of textiles. Companies there were found to be sourcing materials, including cotton, from manufacturers in China that the US government believes violated trade and labor standards.

“We have a calling to use trade as a force for good, advocating for fairness creating real opportunity for all of our people,” said US Trade Representative Katherine Tai at a “

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Discover what are the most sustainable fashion capitals

London and New York, Berlin and Copenhagen can be considered among the most eco-conscious global fashion capitals according to a ranking compiled by Arka, a US packaging specialist.

The statistics were filed collecting various data including thrift store counts, search interest in sustainable fashion, and key metrics like sustainability and recycling rates across 22 worldwide fashion capitals.

Each city was assigned a score according to a calculation that includes the number of thrift shops, searches for thrift stores, searches for sustainable clothing upon a scale from 0 to 100 for each city. Then these numbers were added to the city’s sustainability rate and recycling rate percentages to get a final score.

London tops the list as the biggest sustainable fashion hub with an index score of 309.47. Being a home to 200 thrift stores and significant online interest in sustainable clothing for search terms like “thrift stores” or “sustainable fashion”, it shows a growing tendency towards second-hand fashion. London’s notable sustainability rate of 81.65% and a high recycling rate further secure the city’s position in the ranking with the highest total index of 337.43.

Arka's statistics on most sustainable cities of the world, 2024

Arka’s statistics on most sustainable cities of the world, 2024

Slightly lower with a total index

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