We anticipated it in one of the last posts and today we can say that it is a reality: the ‘Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action‘ was created at the UN climate summit ended yesterday in Katowice, Poland, a charter that aims to reduce the environmental impact of the fashion industry, the second most polluting in the world.
Stella McCartney had promoted the document anticipating that many other brands would have signed the Charter and today we know that there are a total of 43 including Adidas, Burberry, Esprit, Guess, Gap Inc., Hugo Boss, H & M, Inditex, Kering, Levi Strauss & Co., Puma SE, together with organizations such as Business for Social Responsibility, the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, the China National Textile and Apparel Council, the Outdoor Industry Association and Textile Exchange and the WWF participation.
But what does the Charter say and what goals want the signatories of this very important act to pursue? First of all, it recognizes the crucial role that fashion plays on both sides of the climate equation; as a contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, and as a sector with multiple opportunities to reduce emissions while contributing to sustainable development.
Aligned with the 2015 December Paris Agreement, the Charter contains 16 goals to achieve, including a target of 30% GHG emission reductions by 2030 (and net zero emissions by 2050) and the decarbonization of the production phase. And more, 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 from 2019 to define steps for implementation: will identify and amplify best practices, strengthen existing efforts, identify and address gaps, facilitate and strengthen collaboration among relevant stakeholders, and join resources and share tools to enable the sector to achieve its climate targets.
This is undoubtedly an important watershed, an unprecedented commitment that if taken literally, really working to achieve the objectives of the Charter, will implement a real revolution, equal to the nineteenth-century industrial. But then, for example, oil and chemical products were introduced, the same ones that today are among the most responsible for environmental pollution.
So it could be an industrial revolution on the contrary, aimed at rediscovering, as far as possible, virtuous practices that can give back to the environment something that has been taken away over the centuries.