Fashion brands make climate pledge

Catwalk

Some of the world’s best-known clothing companies have signed up to a Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action, pledging to reduce their contribution to climate change and other forms of unsustainable environmental harm.

Brands including Adidas, Burberry, H&M, Hugo Boss, Puma and Stella McCartney were among about 30 founding signatories of the charter, which launched on 10 December. Other companies are also being invited to sign up.

“This charter is about getting the fashion industry united in important climate work,” said Karl-Johan Persson, CEO of H&M group. “Our industry has a global reach and only together can we create the change that is urgently needed.”

The charter contains 16 commitments, including reducing each company’s emissions of greenhouse gases – which cause global warming – by 30 per cent by 2030. Signatories also pledge to publicly report their greenhouse gas emissions and to prioritise the use of materials with low climate impacts.

They also promise to increase consumer awareness about the environmental impacts of clothing, “building towards changed consumer behaviours that reduce environmental impacts and extend the useful life of products”.

The charter was launched with the support of the United Nations’ Climate Change programme, and coincides with the UN Climate Change Conference currently taking place in Katowice, Poland.

“The fashion industry is always two steps ahead when it comes to defining world culture, so I am pleased to see it now also leading the way in terms of climate action,” said UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa.

“I congratulate the signatories of this important charter, which represents a unique commitment and collaboration from an array of fashion leaders. The charter, like the renowned fashion runways of the world, sets an example that I hope others will follow.”

Words: Craig Nicholson
Photo: José Goulão

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