LONDON - More than 50 fashion industry initiatives, brands and other stakeholders have come together to call on the COP26 summit to recognise the role that fashion can play in mitigating climate change.

Organisations, including Fashion Roundtable, Fashion Revolution, Centre for Sustainable Fashion, Common Objective, Eco-Age and The Sustainable Angle, have penned an open letter to world leaders ahead of COP26.

The letter highlights the integral role and impact which the signatories believe the fashion industry can play in addressing net zero and climate change goals.

It argues that while the fashion and textiles industry has contributed to harmful environmental practices and conditions, it also has the potential to play a prominent part in the solution.

"The resourcefulness and creativity to tackle climate change exists already within the industry, but requires the support of world leaders to recognise the potential it has to contribute to resolving the climate crisis," says the letter.

It highlights the need for:

  • collective action to achieve net zero emissions by 2050

  • resourcefulness in waste elimination

  • increased responsibility by businesses towards their global supply chains

  • skills development to encourage children to learn to make, repair and reuse their clothes

  • business models which shift the focus to a just transition to a 'wellbeing economy'

Tamara Cincik, CEO of Fashion Roundtable, said: “COP26 is a fantastic opportunity to remind the world’s leaders, not only of the importance that the fashion industry plays in the global economy, but also that many of us are united in seeking new ways of doing business, which place people and planet first.

"This call to action is a united voice and we hope that the world’s leaders take this moment to address the climate crisis, with the solutions and far reaching policies it requires from all of us.”

Dilys Williams, founder and director of Centre for Sustainable Fashion, added: “The collective ingenuity of the fashion sector is world-changing and we have a very clear brief, set out by science, citizens and nature’s screams.

"Fashion can put earth and equity at the heart of its activities, but until the current licence to do harm is taken away, until legislation supports restorative practices, all of the ingenuity in the world will be outsized by a lack of will to change at world government level."

By Simon Glover from Eco Textile

October 29, 2021