Fashion has experienced a major shift towards sustainability in just a few years, which has been exciting to witness. Aside from brands like Stella McCartney and Mara Hoffman, most of the shift is coming from new brands that are employing environmentally sustinable practices from the ground up. We’ve yet to see the heavy-hitters take the reins, until now.
Last week, Kering chief executive François-Henri Pinault, unveiled the 'Fashion Pact’ to world leaders at the G7 summit. But wait, what IS a Fashion Pact? Good question. It’s brand new.
With a nudge from Emmanuel Macron (read: do me a solid bro), Mr. Pinault rallied some of the biggest luxury brands to get behind a climate-focused fashion agreement, dubbed the 'Fashion Pact’. Goals of the pact include, eliminating single-use plastics, using renewable energy, and combatting greenhouse gasses. Moreover, it’s a set of guidelines to put a major emphasis on sustainability in the industry and keep everyone in check.
Mr. Pinault says, "This Fashion Pact is about saying: We have acknowledged the 21st century’s environmental issues, and we are taking our responsibility through collective action and common objectives”.
Thanks to these Frenchies, 32 signatories signed the pact, inclusive of 150 brands like, Chanel, Prada, Hermès, Ralph Lauren, Nike, Adidas, H&M and Zara. It should be noted that LVMH (the world’s largest luxury group) did not sign the pact.
If you’ve been under a rock for the last year (no judgement, it happens) you may be wondering why such pact is needed in the first place. Globally, the fashion industry is responsible for about 10 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions (per the UN), 20 percent of all wastewater, and consumes more energy than the international aviation and shipping industries combined. According to Euromonitor, "The expected growth of the worldwide apparel and footwear market, at roughly 5 percent through 2030, will risk ‘exerting an unprecedented strain on planetary resources’”. WTFF!
GQ draws a great conclusion, one that we all think about when it comes to weaving sustainable practices into the art of fashion, "as long as there’s an audience for fashion, any properly sustainable strategy will require making ethically designed and produced clothes that are cooler than anything else you can buy.” Sad but true. When it comes to fashion, it can’t JUST be sustainable — clothes are a utility, fashion is not. Hopefully having hands in the sustainability pot from some of the most renowned fashion houses in the world will bridge that gap.
A follow-up meeting is planned for October, so we’re eager to find out if these brands have taken any actionable steps or if they signed the pact for the headlines. Don’t worry, we’ll let you know.