Fashion Declares

Grassroots movement launched to declare a climate, ecological and social emergency in fashion

Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod

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Published: 31 January 2022

This Article was Written by: Katie Hill - My Green Pod

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Key leaders across the fashion industry have joined forces to launch a new grassroots movement to accelerate change in one of the most polluting and unjust sectors in the world.

They include Safia Minney MBE, founder of pioneering sustainable fashion brand People Tree; Tom Berry, global director of sustainable business at FARFETCH; Mike Barry, former director of sustainable business at Marks and Spencer; Debbie Luffman, product director at Finisterre/ThinkCircular and Hubbub and Mariusz Stochaj, head of product and sustainability at Continental Clothing as well as Ben Tolhurst, Director of Business Declares. 

5 pledges to transform fashion

The goal over the next three years is to get 50,000 individuals to become ‘members’ of Fashion Declares by signing an Open Letter that pledges support for five radical commitments that could rapidly transform fashion.

These are:

1. Speaking out for urgent action to tackle the climate, ecological and social crisis

2. Delivering decarbonisation, restoration of ecosystems and biodiversity

3. Working for social justice and a just transition

4. Ensuring radical transparency and corporate governance 

5. Adopting a regenerative fashion model

Click here to pledge your support and add your name to the open letter.

‘These bold commitments reflect the need for rapid and fundamental changes in fashion.  We have a handful of years to avoid the catastrophic impacts of global warming and we need wide-ranging and urgent action across the sector. This needs to include individuals working at every level in fashion, from designers to finance people, and from retailers to influencers. While this industry is a huge contributor to the climate and ecological crisis, we also believe it is a creative and innovate sector with drive and passion. We can do more than just negate our impact – fashion can take a leading role in tackling the crisis and become a significant force to transform mindsets and lifestyles.’

SAFIA MINNEY MBE
Fashion Declares member and founder of People Tree

‘Fashion needs to change’

Early signatories include: Vincent Stanley, Head of Philosophy, Patagonia, US; Christine Goulay, Global Director, Pangaia B2B, PANGAIA, France; Lauren Bartley, Sustainability Director, GANNI, Denmark; Sel Kofiga, Founder, The Slum Studio, Ghana; Kalkidan Legesse, Founder, Schwap and Sancho’s, UK; Javier Goyeneche, CEO, Ecoalf, Spain; Patrick Grant, Director, Community Clothing, UK; Nishanth Chopra, Founder and Director, Oshadi, India; Kathleen Talbot, CSO, Reformation, US; and many more.

‘Fashion needs to change. And to achieve any significant change, all companies and all employees within those companies need to play their part. There aren’t any other movements in the fashion industry working bottom up, engaging all of the different people in the industry who can and need to contribute.’

TOM BERRY
Fashion Declares member and global director of sustainable business at FARFETCH


 

Spotlight on fashion

The timing of the launch could not be better, as 2022 has brought an intense focus on the fashion industry.

In the UK, the Competition and Markets Authority is targeting fashion with a greenwashing probe, while the Environmental Audit Committee is expected to deliver its follow-up report on ‘Fixing Fashion’. 

‘It won’t take a single brand or supplier, it won’t rely on a magical fibre or technology. It will require all these moving parts and humans to come together to create a positive fashion ecosystem, rather than an industry.’

DEBBIE LUFFMAN
Fashion Declares member and product director at Finisterre/ThinkCircular and Hubbub

At COP26, the UN Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action saw signatories commit to halving greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030 and achieving net zero emissions by 2050.

‘We cannot transform fashion’s footprint through a few good people sat on the edge of the business, we need everybody to get involved.’

MIKE BARRY
Fashion Declares member and former director of sustainable business at Marks and Spencer

We must act now

Safia was inspired to launch a movement by conversations with over 100 leaders in fashion who have contributed to her forthcoming book Regenerative Fashion.

‘I was struck by how deeply we care, how we want to learn, share best practice and new thinking’, Safia says. ‘The window to stay within 1.5 degrees is closing fast; we must act now. Fashion Declares is about every individual in this industry realising they have a role to play in the rapid and just transition needed to redefine fashion so it operates within planetary boundaries and shares the benefits more fairly.’
 

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