your money, your life, your choice | fashion & CO2

It’s really about bringing everyone together as an industry, and instead of having a few people talk about it, it’s having everyone talk about it and the leaders… actually taking responsibility, putting our money where our mouth is and making an amazing change together.”

Stella McCartney, founder of eponymous fashion company and brand

Consumers, investors, and the fashion industry, when deciding how to spend and where to put their money, are demonstrating a commitment to changing lifestyle choices, changing behaviors, redefining value, reducing emissions of atmospheric CO2 and greenhouse gases, and mitigating human-induced climate change.

The broader textile, clothing and fashion industry have worked during 2018 to specify ways in which, drawing on methodologies from the Science-Based Targets Initiative, they can direct themselves towards a holistic commitment to climate action, achieving net-zero emissions of atmospheric CO2 and greenhouse gases by 2050, while expanding economic opportunity and driving economic competitiveness and innovation.

The apparel and footwear industries together accounted in 2016 for an estimated 8.1% of global climate impacts with emissions of 3,990 million metric tons CO2eq (including emissions generated by processes used for raw material extraction, raw material processing, manufacturing, assembly, packaging production, transportation/distribution, and end-of-life).

The Ellen Macarthur Foundation estimates that “if nothing changes, by 2050 the fashion industry will use up a quarter of the world’s carbon budget.”

It’s really about bringing everyone together as an industry, and instead of having a few people talk about it, it’s having everyone talk about it and the leaders… actually taking responsibility, putting our money where our mouth is and making an amazing change together.”

So observes Stella McCartney while attending an 11 December gala dinner hosted in London by Bloomberg and Vanity Fair. The gala was held to highlight fashion, climate change, climate change mitigation, and the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Change Action, signed in early December.

There is no shortage of capital in the world that wants to go in this direction. The hearts and minds argument of the common man on the street, has been won. My feeling is that what the financial services business needs to do, is to be working with the real innovative companies of today,” said David Fass, Macquarie Group CEO for Europe the Middle East and Africa.

The founding signatories to the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Change Action are: adidas, Aquitex, Arcteryx, Burberry Limited, Esprit, Guess, Gap Inc., H&M Group, Hakro Gmbh., Hugo Boss, Inditex, Kering Group, Lenzing AG, Levi Strauss & Co., Mammut Sports Group AG, Mantis World, Maersk, Otto Group, Pidigi S.P.A, PUMA SE, re:newcell, Schoeller Textiles AG, Peak Performance, PVH Corp., Salomon, Skunkfunk, SLN Textil, Stella McCartney, Sympatex Technologies, Target and Tropic Knits Group.

Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Change Action, excerpts:

· the Paris Agreement represents a global response to the scientific consensus that human activity is causing global average temperatures to rise at unprecedented rates

· goals agreed in the Paris Agreement translate to reaching climate neutrality [read: reduced to zero emissions of atmospheric CO2 and other greenhouse gases from sourcing, manufacturing, distribution, use, and end-of-life of materials and products; reduced to zero use of hydrocarbon-based sources of energy in operations, manufacturing, distribution, retail, transport, etc.] in the second half of the twenty-first century. The fashion industry, as a major global player, needs to take an active part in contributing to the realization of these goals

· all companies, within fashion, retail and textile global value chain, regardless of size and geography, have opportunities to take actions that will result in a measurable reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions

· establish a closer dialogue with consumers to increase awareness about the GHG emissions caused in the use and end-of-life phases of products, building towards changed consumer behaviors that reduce environmental impacts and extend the useful life of products

· current solutions and business models will not be sufficient to deliver on the current climate agenda. Fashion industry needs to embrace a deeper, more systemic change and scale low-carbon solutions

· the fashion industry stakeholders have a role to play in reducing climate emissions resulting from their operations, with an awareness that the majority of climate impact within the industry lies in manufacturing of products and materials

· all companies, within fashion, retail and the textile global value chain, regardless of size and geography, have opportunities to take actions that will result in a measurable reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions

· actions that reduce GHG emissions are consistent with, among other things, expanding economic opportunity, using resources more efficiently, driving economic competitiveness and innovation, and strengthening resilience

· responding to climate change requires action on both mitigation and adaptation

[Signatories agree to]

11. Establish a closer dialogue with consumers to increase awareness about the GHG emissions caused in the use and end-of-life phases of products, building towards changed consumer behaviors that reduce environmental impacts and extend the useful life of products;

12. Partner with the finance community and policymakers to catalyse scalable solutions for a low-carbon economy throughout the sector

Stella McCartney and friends hit Bloomberg and Vanity Fair gala dinner,” Stephanie Takyi, The Standard, 13 December 2018

Stella McCartney Slams Fast Fashion as a Threat to the Environment,” Lucca de Paoli, Bloomberg, 12 December 2018

Inside the Bloomberg Vanity Fair Climate Exchange,” VF X Bloomberg, 11 December 2018

Milestone Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action launched,” UNFCCC, 10 December 2018

About the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action,” UNFCCC

Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action,” UNFCC

Measuring Fashion, Environmental Impact of the Global Apparel and Footwear Industries Study,” Quantis, 2018

A New Textiles Economy: Redesigning Fashion’s Future,” November 2017, The Ellen MacArthur Foundation & Circular Fibers Initiative

Report: A positive vision for a system that works, and summons the creative power of the fashion industry to build it,” Ellen MacArthur Foundation

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