OUT OF TIME: Despite all the noise — and the genuine changes being made — the fashion industry is losing its enthusiasm for tackling climate change, according to the latest report released by Global Fashion Agenda and Boston Consulting Group.
Industry progress has slowed by a third in the past year. The industry as a whole was awarded just four points in the GFA’s Pulse Score, a baseline score for measuring and tracking sustainability targets of the global fashion industry, compared with the six points awarded in 2018.
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The report revealed that since the industry is a net contributor to climate change, the goal of keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius, as stated in the Paris Agreement, will not be met unless improvements can be made.
“These latest findings emphasize the dire need for the whole industry to join the race and accelerate change now,” said Morten Lehmann, chief sustainability officer at Global Fashion Agenda, the organization that stages Copenhagen Fashion Summit, which is set for later this month.
The report also uncovered that 40 percent of the industry is not able to move into phase two of the Pulse Curve, a five-phase trajectory charting the industry’s social and environmental performance. Phase two involves companies establishing traceability, implementing a standardized measurement tool and reporting framework, and developing a budget for sustainability programs.
Lehmann also suggested focusing on scaleability. “Scaling existing solutions will depend on leadership from brands. But some transformational changes will take cooperation among policy makers and stakeholders across the entire value chain,” he said.
The global apparel and footwear industry is predicted to generate 102 million metric tons of product by volume by 2030 and the report urges businesses to increase supply chain traceability, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and focus on scaling up initiatives such as using sustainable materials, build a circular economy and work closely with policymakers.
“To achieve the transformational change required, we must collaborate and make meaningful commitments to end our industry’s damaging practices. We need to scale our efforts to assess impacts through a common framework and increase improvements in sustainability performance globally,” said Amina Razvi, interim executive director at Sustainable Apparel Coalition.