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Asap- As sustainable as possible—Fashion for the future we want

Anne Etienne-Reboul




Asap: As sustainable as possible—Fashion for the future we want

It is time for a joint commitment from all industry players to move from intentions to concrete actions. We must drastically change our methods of design, production and consumption; utilize collaborative intelligence for the benefit of an ever more influential and aware citizen; adopt virtuous practices to project far beyond the next season. After all, this is about securing the future of the planet.

Revolutions occur slowly, then all at once, before becoming inevitable. The latest reports on the state of the planet’s health are alarming, and textiles ranks second among the most polluting industries. The Copenhagen Fashion Summit, dedicated to sustainable fashion, summoned 1,700 brands, companies and clothing sector leaders for its 10th edition in May 2019 to tackle the issue. We are witnesses and actors within one of the most important transformations in the history of our humanity. With the theme of “more, better, faster”, the summit’s intention is to reduce the negative impact of fashion on environmental, social and economic levels and to guarantee best practices in terms of sustainability and responsibility, together. Peclers was there.

Here are five key developments that will positively change the future of fashion and the industries it touches.

1. The Fashion Pact  

“I want to convince my peers that we need to get started even if we do not have all the answers. We must accept discomfort to push us forward.” François-Henri Pinault, CEO, Kering

François-Henri Pinault was commissioned by the President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron, to federate a coalition of all fashion and luxury brands, and to create a Fashion Pact.

The coalition is committed to quantified targets and a timetable of action in the fight against global warming, plastic waste, loss of biodiversity, ocean protection and sustainable financing. This mission was presented at the G7 in Biarritz at the end of August. The unprecedented gathering of collective intelligence between all the players in the industry will help to move away from the idea of business as usual by modifying the growth and profitability values of major financial institutions. It will result in a change to short-term earnings priorities, with environmental and social performance being taken into account.

2. Youth Fashion Summit: Fashion’s Future Generation

“We are for the future generations and we want to act!”

As part of the “Sustainability for Health and Wellbeing” program, 65 students from internationally renowned fashion, design and trade schools were back at the Copenhagen Fashion Summit.

The group urged CEOs, governments, NGOs and consumers to turn their demands (formulated last year at the previous summit) into action. The immediate reaction from industry players present was a desire to quickly implement attainable sustainable development measures: “We must find other solutions because we live on the future’s credit by consuming the equivalent of 1.7 planets and, by continuing our current consumption, we will need a second planet, that we do not have, by 2030.”

3. Responsibility and Transparency

“We have 10 years left to save the planet, otherwise we are in danger of disappearing.” Cyrill Gutsch, Founder, Parley for the Oceans

Google Cloud, in collaboration with Stella McCartney, is testing an eco-design-based industrial tool to enable brands to reduce their environmental impact across the supply chain and share their data with the industry. The results give brands a better assessment of the impact of their raw materials by measuring critical environmental factors, such as air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, land use and water scarcity. Today, the development of the circular economy, collaborative approaches and new technologies must reinforce and accelerate brand responsibility, each at its own scale and in full transparency.

4. Open-Source, Circular and Virtuous Design

“The future designer is a citizen.” John Hoke, Design Director, Nike

Nike has collaborated with students and staff from the Central Saint Martins fashion school to write a circular design guide. Laying out 10 principles for the design and life of a product, Guiding the Future of Design is available on the internet to the general public and creative groups around the world. In the very short term, thanks to this collaboration, the use of this open-source guide (which is continually updated) will encourage brands to progress collectively in order to design more responsible products. Look good and do good.

5. Resell, Rent, Repair, Upcycle

“In the face of overconsumption, the second-hand, vintage and sharing markets will soon exceed that of fast fashion.”

Brands, including Patagonia, familiarize the consumer with a new form of consumption, integrating repair into the product creation process, because there is an urgent need to buy less and buy better. The goal is to offer a second life to clothing by considering the post-purchase lifetime through experiences and services for repair, rental and resale.