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2021 is the year of the Creative Economy for Sustainable Development

By Don-Alvin Adegeest

5 May 2021

Fashion

Image Credit: Manuel Elías via United Nations website

The time, as they say, is now. After a year of pandemic-induced lockdowns, there couldn’t be a better time to appreciate the creative economy, says the United Nations. This is why the world’s leading intergovernmental organisation has marked 2021 as the International Year of the Creative Economy for Sustainable Development. UNCTAD, alongside UNESCO, WIPO, UNIDO, the WTO will drive the annual celebrations and observations of the year.

UNCTAD Acting Secretary-General Isabelle Durant said the resolution was timely. “The creative industries are critical to the sustainable development agenda. They stimulate innovation and diversification, are an important factor in the burgeoning services sector, support entrepreneurship, and contribute to cultural diversity,” she said. The creative economy design, new media, performing arts, publishing and visual arts– is a highly transformative sector of the world economy in terms of income generation, job creation and export earnings. Culture is an essential component of sustainable development and represents a source of identity, innovation and creativity for the individual and community. At the same time, creativity and culture have a significant non-monetary value that contributes to inclusive social development, to dialogue and understanding between peoples.

World-changing ideas

Solutions to make the fashion industry more sustainable are top of mind for consumers and companies alike. Even large volume retailers are integrating sustainability principles into their business strategies, like Adidas, Patagonia and Stella McCartny.

Polyester made from recycled bottles, vegan fabrics and wardrobe recycling are just some of the solutions the fashion industry is embracing.

Grim facts are fuelling research

According to the UN, it takes around 7,500 litres of water to make a single pair of jeans, equivalent to the amount of water the average person drinks over a period of seven years. That’s just one of the many startling facts to emerge from recent environmental research, which show that the cost of staying fashionable is a lot more than just the price tag.

Article source: United Nations