Changing Cambodia’s fashion industry

The world has been taking a beating from environmental abuse by industries, particularly where waste management is concerned. In a traditional economy, mainly dominated by a linear model of take-make-and-dispose, not much consideration is given to the material’s end-of-life. Resources or inputs are harvested from the environment, manufactured into materials, and channelled into the industrial process to make products. Consumers then buy these products, which are soon disposed, either in landfills or in incinerators.

This is particularly true when it comes to the fashion industry, especially due to the new phenomenon of fast fashion, a term used to describe high speed and cost-effective catwalk-to-store delivery of high-fashion trends. The disposable nature of new fashion, alongside a growing disposable income, are key drivers of the doubling of clothing production in the last 15 years. Around the world, the US$1.3 trillion clothing industry employs more than 300 million people along the value chain.

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