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Fashion COP26: Now is not the time to walk away

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By Sponsor

1 Nov 2021

Business

Fashion Roundtable, Fashion Revolution, Centre for Sustainable Fashion, Common Objective, Eco-Age, and The Sustainable Angle, along with leading fashion brands and fashion sustainability advocates unite with a call to action for COP26, to stress the urgent need for the world’s leaders to recognise the impactful role fashion can play in reaching net zero and climate goals.

An open letter highlights the integral role and impact the fashion industry can play in addressing net zero and climate change goals, should leaders recognise this importance and act accordingly to encourage and pursue change.

Whilst the fashion industry has contributed to harmful environmental practices and conditions, as such a key part of our global economy and of everyone’s lives, it needs to play a prominent part in the solution.

The resourcefulness and creativity to tackle climate change exists already within the industry, but requires the support of world leaders to recognise the potential it has to contribute to resolving the climate crisis.

In a call for global governmental action and recognition, the letter highlights the need for collective action, waste elimination, business responsibility, clothing skills development and education and a shift towards business models that contribute to a just transition towards a well-being economy.

1) Collective action to achieve net zero emissions by no later than 2050
2) Resourcefulness in waste elimination
3) Increase responsibility by businesses towards their global supply chains
4) Support skills development in education to encourage children to learn the necessary skills to make, repair and reuse their clothes
5) Frame any solutions to the climate emergency around business models which shift the focus from profit and loss, to a just transition towards the well-being economy

Tamara Cincik, CEO of Fashion Roundtable: “COP26 is a fantastic opportunity to remind the world’s leaders, not only of the importance that the fashion industry plays in the global economy, but also that many of us are united in seeking new ways of doing business, which place people and planet first. The world’s precious resources are finite: we need to embed a resourceful and collectively responsible business model into how we shift from a linear to a circular economy. This call to action is a united voice and we hope that the world’s leaders take this moment to address the climate crisis, with the solutions and far reaching policies it requires from all of us.”

Fashion Revolution: “Human rights and the rights of nature are interconnected and interdependent. We are part of the wider living world and our right to a healthy environment depends on the health of our planet. We need a revolutionary shift in our relationships with each other, with our clothes, within fashion supply chains, and with the natural world, for our own prosperity and wellbeing, and for the health of our earth, rivers and oceans.”

Dilys Williams, Founder and Director of Centre for Sustainable Fashion: “The collective ingenuity of the fashion sector is world-changing and we have a very clear brief, set out by science, citizens and nature’s screams. Fashion can put earth and equity at the heart of its activities, but until the current licence to do harm is taken away, until legislation supports restorative practices, all of the ingenuity in the world will be outsized by a lack of will to change at world government level. A coalition exists in fashion, the signatories to this letter and more, we require specific action on the five points outlined at COP 26. The world is watching; we want to make history, not to be history.”

Eco-Age: “In its current state, fashion and its linear take-make-dispose models spell chaos for the climate, and COP26 is our chance to remind world leaders of the industry’s significant role in environmental and societal injustices. Collaboration is key, and global governments must place fashion firmly on the agenda for us to truly shift to a transformative, inclusive, and regenerative fashion industry.”

Full list of signatories:

Fashion Roundtable, Fashion Revolution, Centre for Sustainable Fashion, Common Objective, Eco-Age, The Sustainable Angle, Maisie Allum, Ignasi Eiriz Alonso, Anti Copying in Design (ACID), Sandy Black, Boncamila Limited, BoyWonder, Molly Bruce-Gardyne, Fiona Carter, Circulatam | 7191, Comitato Lady Lawyer Village, Community Clothing, Connor Hill Co. | Circular Brand Solutions, Deborah Cure Yonace, DEPLOY London, Shamini Dhana, Dvora Photography, Lynda Grose, Fashion Capital, Fashion Enter, Fashion Impact Fund, Fashion Takes Action, Future Fabrics Expo, Hubbub, Debbie Huntley, Justice In Fashion, Lab 2030, Labour Behind the Label, Lady Lawyer Fashion Archive, Lady Lawyer Foundation, Julie Leonard, Erin Lewis, Katherine Livings, Make it British, Minycled, Monty & Co, Mike Musial, New Standard Institute, No Sweat, Anne Olabarrieta, Other day , Phoebe English, Pipet Design, Ran by nature, Rplanet, Amanda Sellers, Lucinda Shand, Magi Sque, Sustainable & Social, Sustainable Fashion Scotland, Kolbra Sveinbjornsson, The Partnership, The Right Project, The Trampery, VICKISARGE, Wardrobe Crisis, Emma West, Dilys Williams, Amelia Windsor