It’s no secret that fashion needs to drastically cut greenhouse gas emissions. As such, several leading brands have pledged to halve their emissions by 2030 and achieve zero emissions by 2050. It is part of the United Nations Fashion Industry Charter on Climate Change, which raised its ambitions last year.

Now at Cop27, the United Nations climate change conference in Egypt, the question is how fashion will achieve its goals. Effective gas emissions must be reported annually, with 89% of companies submitting data this year (non-compliant companies are excluded of the signatories). . “These accountability requirements are important because they give brands momentum to move forward and do the right thing,” Lindita Zaferi Salif, head of the UN Fashion Charter on Climate Change, told Vogue.

The latest data is yet to be collected by the United Nations, but initial analysis shows that, unfortunately, most brands are far from meeting their obligations after the recovery of post-quarantine emissions in 2020. Proposed. It turns out that only Levi’s, one of the fashion charter signatories, plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030 (the target). 1.5C limits set by the Paris Agreement). In fact, the campaign team found that emissions from eight brands actually increased in the past year. It is worth remembering that these companies have in fact signed commitments to protect the environment. Much of the industry is not.

“Emissions often went down during Covid, [but] actually went up,” Stand.Earth corporate climate activist Rachel Kitchin said. The push for further growth is the elephant in the room that the industry has yet to address: “[Brands] need to act now to stop the growth of fossil fuels, switch to renewable energy and supplies. It is critical to take carbon off the chain and really see how we use fossil fuel derived materials,” she continues.

While some brands have questioned the methodology used by Stand.Earth (H&M, for example, has stated that “increased emissions due to the [post-coronavirus] recovery will affect how we see the future, or not.”) There is more work to be done. to be done. According to the 2020 UN Fashion Charter’s own data, only 15% of signatories chose the 1.5C path, while about 30% opted for the 2C path.

With textile manufacturing and processing making up a large part of the industry, materials are a key piece of the puzzle. Last year, the Fashion Charter signatories made new commitments to ensure that all priority materials such as cotton, viscose, polyester, wool and leather have a minimal climate impact by 2030. Made. To meet current climate change commitments.

Claire Bergkamp, ​​COO of Textile Exchange, said: “If business continues as usual, we expect growth (again) in 2030. The industry cannot stay on the 1.5C track without rethinking free growth. Both replacement and reduction, but it also requires innovation and partnerships to advance and scale known solutions.”

The need for concrete solutions is why the United Nations Fashion Charter last year added a requirement for signatories to submit appropriate emission reduction action plans. Do you have the internal and external support needed to make this happen? If you can’t achieve these goals? I’m talking about the questions being asked.


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