Climate Change UN Report Charts Fashion Involvement
Jason Hetherington

The fashion industry is finally taking positive action against climate change, here's how…

But more needs to be done, and urgently…

According to a new report from United Nations Climate Change and CDP, the fashion industry is finally taking positive action against climate change. Businesses signed up to The Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action have publicly reported on their sustainable progress - and how it measures up to their commitments. When greenwashing is rife on the high street and transparency is one of the key areas brands can improve on, this is excellent news.

Fashion is one of the most polluting industries on the planet (with most impact stemming from the textile production stage) and UN and CDP - an independent global environmental disclosure system - have tracked the companies signed up to the Fashion Charter, over the past three years, holding them accountable to share their progress.

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While 80% of fashion businesses signed up are publicly reporting their improvements (and there are improvements), 20% still need to share their progress. And of course these statistics don’t include the unknown number of business that aren’t signed up to the Charter and committed to making change.

Throughout the report, findings show that the fashion industry is disclosing more climate-related information and collaborating across different companies than before, which is promising. It’s revealed that some businesses are reaching their commitments to reduce emissions - almost half of the companies that signed the charter have set public targets to keep global warming below 1.5 degree celsius - however others are falling way short.

“It’s critical for the fashion industry to come together and align its actions, both within individual companies and across the entire supply chain,” said Lindita Xhaferi-Salihu, Sector Engagement Lead with UN Climate Change. “By working collaboratively, companies can begin the hard work of slashing emissions and transforming the sector towards a renewable and low-emissions future. The goal is clear: achieve meaningful progress by 2030 and set a new standard for what it means to be a sustainable, responsible, and innovative industry.”

What is the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action?

Founded in 2018, The Fashion Charter was set up to help advise and support fashion businesses to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. With support from UN Climate Change, the Charter is committed to sourcing electricity from 100% sources and phasing out coal in supply chains - both by 2030. Other pledges within the Charter include:

  • Commit to prioritizing materials with low-climate impact without affecting negatively other sustainability aspects
  • Support the goals of the Paris Agreement in limiting global temperature rise to well below two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels
  • Quantify, track and publicly report our GreenHouse Gas emissions
  • As soon as possible and latest by 2025, commit to not installing new coal-fired boilers or other sources of coal-fired heat and power generation

While GLAMOUR cheerleads any efforts towards a greener future, when big business (and big budgets) are involved we’re marking the fashion industry as ‘must try harder, faster.’ 

Read more from Glamour UK Fashion Director at large Alex Fullerton here or follow her on Instagram @alexandrafullerton

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