NGOs Unite as Sustainability Surges – WWD


Sustainability has made headway during the coronavirus pandemic as brands — and shoppers — have swiftly reassessed their priorities. And that’s why the newly launched Fashion Conveners have united to accelerate the sustainable transformation of the fashion industry.

The Fashion Conveners, a global coalition of fashion forward NGOs, was “spurred by the vulnerabilities the global pandemic brought forward,” and includes: Apparel Impact Institute (AII); Fashion for Good (FFG); Global Fashion Agenda (GFA); Fashion Makes Change (FMC); Responsible Business Coalition at Fordham University (RBC); Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC); Textile Exchange (TE); Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action, and ZDHC.

Focused on harnessing the power of the group’s subject matter expertise, the Fashion Conveners’ collective talents and resources — that is, creativity, innovation, skills, data, research, networks and shared knowledge — will be pooled to “catalyze action with companies, brands and strategic partners, support each other’s policy efforts, and accelerate the industry’s adoption of more sustainable and ultimately regenerative practices,” the coalition said.

Fashion earns nearly 3 percent of the global GDP — and the Fashion Conveners objective is to use that power for good to help secure natural resources and prioritize the safety, health and prosperity of the industry’s workforce and its communities, according to the coalition.

Coming together as a united front, Fashion Conveners “recognizes the urgency to accelerate the transformational changes needed to reduce the environmental and social impacts across fashion,” and further explained that they will work individually and as a group, to “accelerate action through high-level partnerships, developing strategies and initiatives across the various sub-sectors of industry.”

Akin to other aspects of retail that have evolved due to shoppers’ changing habits and trends during the coronavirus pandemic, the Fashion Conveners have set their sights on fashion’s long-term success. “COVID-19 only further exposed the fragility of our industry’s value chain, yet also served as evidence of the power of environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices into action — a veritable proof of concept demonstrating that a more sustainable industry is a more resilient industry, capable of healing the planet and better supporting its people,” they said.

Moreover, instead of various organizations duplicating efforts to usher in sustainability throughout the industry, the Fashion Conveners will work to support common organizational agendas, the coalition said, and “holistically drive the industry’s progress along a journey of continuous and rapid improvement. While maintaining individual goals and independence, the organizations are aligning on key metrics, frameworks, performance standards — and their support for the delivery of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.”

For more Business news from WWD, see:

Outdoor Brands Talk Coronavirus Impacts

Brick-and-Mortar, Digital Retailers Adjust Strategies in Wake of Coronavirus

Field Notes: How Fabric Is Helping Save the Planet

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