Source International is expanding its communal monitoring system to the textile industry. The apparel industry is recognized as the second highest polluting industry worldwide. Cotton production alone uses 10% of the world’s pesticides. Starting with the community monitoring system, Source International’s ultimate goal is to change the way in which textiles are produced by incentivizing environmental accountability.
The global apparel industry is an important driver of economic growth, and provides economic opportunities for over 60 million people around the world, 75% of whom are women. However, the industry has often turned a blind eye toward its environmental and social impacts. The apparel industry is recognized as the second highest polluting industry worldwide. Cotton production alone uses 10% of the world’s pesticides. People who live downstream of textile factories suffer from water and air pollution. There are a few textile companies that are trying to improve their environmental and social standard, but unfortunately many are not.
Source International is expanding its outreach to the textile industry with the help of the Ashoka Globalizer Fabric of Change program. The program supports social entrepreneurs expand their impacts in creating ethical and sustainable fashion. Fabric of Change identifies, supports and gives visibility to leading social innovators with the most promising solutions to address social and environmental issues within the clothing industry. Flaviano Bianchini, founder of Source International, is an Ashoka Fellow and was selected for the program.
Source International went to India to apply our community monitoring system for pollution and human rights violations to address pollution from a textile company.
This is the first step in our plan to add pressure from affected communities to the current pressure from buyers that apparel brands are facing in order to incentivize these companies to adopt practices that protect human rights and the environment. We also hope to create a collaboration between local communities and brands that want to become more sustainable.