Japan's clothing industry emits 95
million tons of carbon dioxide a year,
Emissions from clothing sold in Japan total over 95 million
tons of carbon dioxide a year, with most of that total resulting
from the manufacturing process overseas, a government estimate
The process of manufacturing and transporting clothes is
estimated to produce 90.09 million tons of carbon dioxide, or
94.6% of the total, according to the Environment Ministry. Of
the 819,000 tons of garments supplied to the Japanese market in
2020, 799,000 tons, or about 98%, were imported from overseas.
The remaining total of about 5 million tons is attributed
mostly to the burning of unsold clothes and energy used for
laundry. The first such estimate by the government finds that
each item of clothing contributes around 25 kilograms of carbon
dioxide, the ministry said.
The apparel industry accounts for 10% of global carbon
emissions, according to a U.N. Environment Program report. Of
the global emissions from the industry, Japanese apparel supply
chains account for 4.5%, the Environment Ministry said.
The ministry last month launched a website to call on
consumers to recycle more clothes while urging the fashion
industry to work on new production processes to reduce carbon
A total of about 510,000 tons of clothes were disposed of in
Japan last year without being recycled or reused, according to
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga in late April revealed a new
goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 46% by fiscal 2030
from fiscal 2013 levels during a climate summit hosted by U.S.
President Joe Biden.
In line with the new pledge, the ministry now hopes to raise
awareness of the environmental impact of the textile industry,
including carbon dioxide emissions and water pollution.
"Through providing the information online, we hope consumers
know more about the environmental damage from their clothing
items and think about recycling before throwing away," a
ministry official said.