The fashion industry took a large step on Dec. 10 to address climate change by launching the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action. Under the auspices of UN Climate Change, leading fashion brands, retailers, supplier organizations, and others, including a major shipping company, have agreed to collectively address the climate impact of the fashion sector across its entire value chain.
Forty-three, including Adidas, Burberry, Esprit, Guess, Gap Inc. Hugo Boss, H&M Group, Inditex, Kering, Levi Strauss & Co., Puma SE, PVH Corp.,Target; leading membership organizations, including Business for Social Responsibility, Sustainable Apparel Coalition, China National Textile and Apparel Council, Outdoor Industry Association and Textile Exchange; global logistics company Maersk; and global NGO WWF International have committed to implementing or supporting the 16 principles and targets that underpin the Fashion Climate Charter.
The signatories are not waiting for these issues to be fully elaborated and have set an initial target to reduce their aggregate greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2030 and have defined concrete measures, such as phasing out coal-fired boilers or other sources of coal-fired heat and power generation in their own companies and direct suppliers from 2025.
“We are aware that more than 90% of PUMA’s Carbon Footprint is being generated in shared supply chains. If we want to reduce carbon emissions in our supply chains, we need to work together with our industry peers,” said Bjørn Gulden, CEO of PUMA. “The Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action provides a collective industry effort to support the goals of the Paris Agreement. We appreciate that UN Climate Change has set up a global platform and call upon our industry peers to join the initiative.”
Aligned with the goals of the Paris Agreement, the Charter contains the vision for the industry to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 and defines issues that will be addressed by signatories, ranging from decarbonization of the production phase, selection of climate-friendly and sustainable materials, low-carbon transport, improved consumer dialogue and awareness, working with the financing community and policymakers to catalyze scalable solutions, and exploring circular business models. To make concrete progress on these commitments, six working groups have been established in which signatories will work to define steps for implementation.
In early 2018, fashion leaders volunteered to shape a climate movement through discussions in working groups chaired by PUMA SE and H&M Group.
The founding signatories 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.
Supporting organizations include: Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), China National Textile and Apparel Council (CNTAC), China Textile Information Center (CTIC), Global Fashion Agenda (GFA), Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), International Finance Corporation (IFC), Outdoor Industry Association (OIA), Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), Sustainable Fashion Academy (SFA), Textile Exchange, WWF International and ZDHC (Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals Foundation).
“Climate change is undoubtedly one of, if not, the biggest challenge of our lifetime. It is and will affect everyone on this planet and our future,” said designer Stella McCartney. “This is why I am proud to be a signatory of the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action. I want to call on my peers in the business, from other brands to retailers and suppliers, to sign up to this charter now and take the necessary actions to address the reality of the issue of climate change in their business and value chains. Collectively we have a voice and the capacity to make a difference.”
Principles and actions outlined in the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action will be pursued and developed collectively through working groups which will be convened by the UN Climate Change in early 2019.