Seven Steps to Make Fashion More Sustainable

In preparation for this year’s Copenhagen Fashion Summit, the Global Fashion Agenda has published a new report “detailing the seven sustainability priorities that should be at the top of mind for fashion executives today.”

As reported by Business of Fashion, the GFA, a non-profit sustainability forum, compiled the report in conjunction with companies like Kering, H&M, and Target, and in addition to highlighting those “key actions fashion needs to address now,” the report also “offers advice and guidance on how to tackle the issues raised.” The summit, for it’s part, will not just be a lecture event, but will also serve as a sort of networking event, “connecting brands with suppliers that meet the report’s demands.”

And while the CEO of GFA told BoF that the effort was “not a philanthropic quest,” the mission to clearly explicate what a more sustainable practice looks like is an admirable one, and the fact that they facilitate relationships to help the cause is even better.

As for the list, it acts more like an informative summary than it does a groundbreaking directive, but baby steps. Highlighting the importance of supply chain traceability and transparency, “efficient use of water and chemicals,” better working wages, respectful work environments and a contingency plan for the rise of the robots, among other things, it does serve as an effective study guide for Sustainability 101.

Perhaps the most interesting line item, however, was the one concerning material selection. Noting that “a brand’s choice of raw materials can define up to 50 percent of its environmental footprint,” the story also says that “there has been little emphasis on material innovation” (although it does promote the use of organic cotton, which has been subject to some legitimate scrutiny in the recent past).

Here’s hoping the brands in attendance treat the report more like a checklist than a staff recommendation section.

You can read more about it at Business of Fashion.

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