A coalition of 32 of the world’s largest fashion groups and brands has published a manifesto that details the practical objectives and targets it has set to minimise the industry’s impact on the climate, oceans and biodiversity.
The Fashion Pact, which was released on Friday and will be presented at the G7 meeting in Biarritz, says it “will not reinvent the wheel, but create an overarching framework for action”, and will make its findings open source. It intends to build on the work of existing organisations such as the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and Fashion For Good.
Key points include a commitment to 100% renewable energy across own operations by 2030; pledges to eliminate micro-fibre pollution and develop biodiversity strategies, which may include wildlife-friendly approaches to agriculture, mining and forestry that promote the conservation of key species; and a recommendation to eliminate single-use plastics in both B2B and B2C packaging by 2030.
It also details a joint initiative to ensure social inclusion, fair wages and respectful working conditions throughout the supply chain with a focus on “empowering small-hold producers and women in low-income countries”.
The initiative was instigated earlier this year by the French president, Emmanuel Macron, who asked François-Henri Pinault - the CEO of the Kering Group, which owns Gucci, Saint Laurent and Alexander McQueen - to form an coalition to address the fashion industry’s environmental impact.
Pinault outlined his vision for the coalition at the Copenhagen fashion summit in May. “This has nothing to do with competition,” he told delegates. “It’s a matter of leadership. Alone it is useless, you have to work with your peers. We might not succeed, but we will achieve more than not doing anything.”
Burberry’s CEO, Marco Gobbetti, said on Friday: “We know that one company cannot solve the environmental challenges facing our planet alone and we believe in the power of collaboration to drive real change.”
The pact comes as key members of the luxury fashion industry have come under fire for failing to publicly respond to wildfires in the Amazon rainforest. The lack of response has been contrasted with the millions of euros donated by Kering and its rival LVMH toward the restoration of Notre Dame.