The head of the Italian Fashion Chamber says the body is working toward creating clear criteria of what it means for the fashion industry to be environmentally sustainable.

Noting that fashion is the second-largest polluting industry behind oil production, Carlo Capasa said part of the challenge is communicating to consumers because "they love sustainability but they love to buy cheap clothing."

He told a forum Tuesday that without clear criteria, "sustainability becomes esoteric."

Capasa said the chamber is looking into issues including creating guidelines on chemical use and industrial discharge, and how to ensure supply chains can be traced.

Italy produces 40 percent of all clothing, accessories and footwear made in Europe. That rises to 70 percent when only luxury is considered.