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Fashion leaders, policymakers, NGOs, creative directors and innovators from across the globe demanded urgent action on sustainability in the fashion industry. The event was organised by Global Fashion Agenda – the world’s foremost leadership forum for sustainability in fashion, under the patronage of HRH the Crown Princess of Denmark.
The discussions and debates emphasised that companies must collaborate now, more than ever, to rectify the harmful consequences of the fashion industry and combat the climate crisis, resource scarcity and social implications. According to new findings in the Pulse of the Fashion industry 2019 update, if the current pace of change does not improve, fashion will continue to be a net contributor to climate change, and the Paris Agreement’s objective of keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius during the remainder of this century will not be achieved. The summit provided a forum for stakeholders to come together and rewrite fashion to safeguard the planet.
“We can solve the planet’s and the industry’s biggest issues – if we work together and take action now. We need bold leadership to accelerate the change and push policymakers to support this journey,” Eva Kruse, CEO and President of Global Fashion Agenda, said:
At the summit, Nike announced its Circular Design Workbook to provide designers and product creators across the industry with a common language for circularity. Kering announced a commitment that the group’s Houses will only hire models aged over 18 to represent adults at their fashion shows and photo sessions as of 2020. Google revealed a partnership with Stella McCartney to measure the environmental impact of the fashion industry.
“Our industry is highly competitive. But there is a huge benefit to competing on the same playing field. We need to increase transparency as we move forward,” Emanuel Chirico, chairman and CEO, PVH Corp.
The event attracted 1300 guests, and 78 high-level speakers gave talks spanning executive leadership, design, manufacturing, policy and investment. Discussion topics ranged from climate change and circular economy to the power of creatives and how fashion can address overconsumption.
“Leaders have to put themselves in a vulnerable position and push to find solutions together. We need to forge the path together to change the paradigms,” François-Henri Pinault, chairman and CEO, Kering.
Alongside the summit, GFA also hosted seven leadership roundtables, where select fashion leaders, NGO representatives and government officials met to discuss the fashion industry’s most pressing sustainability issues and to collaborate to push the agenda forward. At this year’s roundtables senior participants from fashion companies of diverse sizes, segments and geographies discussed climate change, circular economy and the upcoming 45th G7 Summit in France.
“We’re endeavouring to create a common language around efforts in sustainability and a shared commitment in design,” John Hoke, chief design officer, Nike.
This year’s summit also presented an even larger Innovation Forum, enabling small and large companies to meet with 50 sustainable solution providers – equipping them with the tools to turn words into meaningful actions. More than 600 facilitated business meetings between fashion companies and sustainable solution providers took place during the two days of the Summit. The Innovation Forum exhibition area was expanded this year to incorporate the Design Studio, presented by Avery Dennison. Recognising the influence of the decisions creative directors make on design, materials and the environmental impact of products, the Design Studio exhibited a unique curation of solutions specifically tailored to the needs of creative directors and designers. (RR)
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