According to a new report, rising sea levels are threatening Asia’s apparel industry. Cornell University has found that large areas of Asia’s apparel production will be submerged by 2030. Many garment factories will need to relocate to higher ground, or risk being submerged in areas like Jakarta and Phnom Penh. The report also warns that sustainability drivers are not paying enough attention to the issue.
This analysis used information from the Open Apparel Registry, an open-source factory database. Researchers compared Climate Central data with a map showing the locations of factories to create a comparison. These areas will see an average of one per year below the coastal flood level by 2030, according to data.
OAR data is used in the apparel industry frequently and could help brands make better sustainability decisions. This database is not-for-profit and works to solve industry problems, such as making all stakeholders’ data available.
Threaten to Tiruppur and Dhaka, Columbo, and Ho Chi Minh City
Natalie Grillion, executive director of OAR, stated that the Cornell analysis, along with the other case studies, shows the urgency of our sector’s issues and is a sobering reminder of how we cannot afford to wait to act towards a more sustainable tomorrow.
“Furthermore the findings, although preliminary, also show the potential for our data to inform critical decisions about policy, investment sustainability, and ESG initiatives within the fashion sector globally.”
OAR is a neutral open-source tool that maps global garment factories. It aims to improve data quality and the lives of workers involved in global supply chains.
It has more than 1,800 subscribers and includes over 68,000 facilities. It has mapped over 120 countries and receives data every day from approximately 400 people. It hopes to inspire change by providing such an extensive base of information for this industry, including with this report.