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NICE Consumer to define a sustainable future for fashion
Mar '12
The NICE Consumer project—a new joint initiative led by BSR and the Danish Fashion Institute—aims to inspire changes in government policies and business practices to help consumers make more sustainable choices in the purchase, use, care for, and disposal of fashion items.

“As resources become scarce and more expensive, innovation in fashion—the future of chic—is all about sustainability: clothes, shoes, and accessories that look great and have the lightest possible environmental and social impacts,” said BSR Advisory Services Manager Cody Sisco.

“We want to create a global movement on sustainable fashion that activates and engages the fashion consumer in new and innovative ways,” added Jonas Eder-Hansen, Development Director, Danish Fashion Institute. “If we move the consumer, we can create real change within the industry.”

Research shows that despite numerous industry efforts, ethical purchasing happens most often when it coincides with the consumer's budget—and even then it is not guaranteed. Sustainable fashion consumption has been even more difficult to achieve because so many other factors influence consumer choices, from the item's look and feel to the consumer's mood or even the weather. The fashion industry has struggled to create products that are affordable, fashionable, and sustainable.

To address this problem, the NICE Consumer project will develop a vision and framework for sustainable fashion consumption based on research and dialogue with leaders in the fashion industry.

In conjunction with the NICE Consumer launch, BSR and the Danish Fashion Institute are releasing a new report that:

• Defines sustainable fashion consumption and describes what form it could take.
• Identifies current barriers to sustainable fashion consumption.
• Applies lessons from successful campaigns focused on changing consumption patterns to the fashion industry.
• Outlines the potential roles for industry, government, civil society, and consumers in reshaping the fashion industry toward sustainable consumption.

The project also includes three public webinars for those in the fashion industry—designers, buyers, media, policymakers, and others—to help the project leaders develop a framework to promote sustainable fashion consumption:

• “Introducing the NICE Consumer Project and the Draft Framework on Sustainable Consumption of Fashion” (March 13)
• “The State of the Art in Sustainable Fashion Consumption” (March 20)
• “Stress Testing the NICE Consumer Framework on Sustainable Consumption of Fashion” (April 3)

On May 3, the NICE Consumer recommendations will be presented to the European Union presidency at the Copenhagen Fashion Summit, the world's largest event on sustainable fashion.

BSR works with its global network of nearly 300 member companies to build a just and sustainable world. From its offices in Asia, Europe, and North and South America, BSR develops sustainable business strategies and solutions through consulting, research, and cross-sector collaboration.

Danish Fashion Institute is a network organization created by and for the Danish fashion industry to promote Danish fashion. Our purpose is to develop an extensive global network to support, market, and drive Danish fashion forward.

Danish Fashion Institute

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