Remember when you were a kid and you made pinkie promises with your best friend? They were the ultimate swear, and you had no choice but to keep your word. Whether it was about your crush on the boy next door or the milk you spilled in the fridge, pinkie promises were legit.
That's kind of what The Fashion Pact is all about. A major pinkie promise (what other kind is there, anyway?), but instead of just with your best friend, it's with hundreds of fashion vanguards who are trying to change the world for the better.
Here's all you need to know about the pact, like how it started, who's involved and what to expect for the future of fashion to come.
What's The Fashion Pact?
Just look at all those stylish suits and dresses! The Fashion Pact is a coalition of fashion companies who've joined forces to prioritize sustainability in the industry. These renegades signed The Fashion Pact through at the 45th Annual G7 Summit in August of 2019 in Biarritz, France—but more signatories have emerged since its conception.
Details of The Fashion Pact are still under construction (we can expect a detailed report in September 2020—keep your eyes peeled on Tydløs for the ultimate summary). However, we do know that the coalition addresses three primary environmental concerns, including:
Ultimately, The Fashion Pact has one major goal: to reduce the environmental impact of the fashion industry. The initiative seeks to make this happen through shared, detailed objectives.
Currently, fashion is a linear industry that has a mega footprint. But circular fashion is becoming more and more popular, not to mention undeniably necessary. Thankfully, major world leaders and industry moguls have recognized this fact. Through The Fashion Pact, they've taken a massive leap forward for the world of style (and the world itself).
The pact knows no borders, featuring promises from brands in many nations. It doesn't discriminate on niche, either; ready-to-wear, sport, lifestyle and luxury brands are all included in the mix.
The Leader of the Pact
If you're wondering who started the pact, we've got the answer. French president Emmanuel Macron presented the coalition to the other six heads of state at the G7 summit, and it was officially signed through. At the time, 32 companies were on the docket for change, proving major promise from the get-go.
It may come as no surprise that Macron, who's largely seen as a social liberal, pushed this sustainable agenda to the forefront. But Macron's name is far from the only one to make a difference...
So, Who's In?
As we speak (figuratively, duh), 56 companies have signed on to The Fashion Pact. This makes up 250 fashion brands...and counting!
Brands include Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Nike, Adidas and Stella McCartney. Even H&M—which is known for its fervent fast fashion mentality—signed on. This is big news. I REPEAT...this is BIG news.
Recently, Spanish company Tendam signed on, adding their brands Fifty, Women's Secret, Springfield, Cortefiel and Pedro del Hierro.
Here are a few more brands who've signed The Fashion Pact:
We know that Puma hopped on the environmental bandwagon years ago, so it only makes sense that they'd sign on for a promise of continuance.
You can take a look at the full list of companies who've signed on at The Fashion Pact website, which features a collection of umbrella corporations who've taken the eco reins. While you have to do some digging to figure out which labels land under those company names, it's nice to have some semblance of transparency for which brands are making an environmental effort.
In time, the aim is for 20% of the industry to adopt the pact.
Diesel the Latest to Join The Fashion Pact
In recent news, fashion followers across the globe have learned that Diesel is in on the eco-coalition. So who is this brand and what exactly prompted their latest endeavour?
If you haven't heard of them, Diesel is a luxury apparel company that serves any gender. Their clothes toe the line of edge and trend, with plenty of leather and denim donning the site. We're obsessed with their oversized coats that keep you warm and make one heck of a badass impression.
Renzo Rosso is the founder of Diesel. Back in January, he presented a strategy at Milan Fashion Week called "For Responsible Living" in collaboration with Eco-age. Moving forth, the two organizations promised to take sustainability seriously and serve as a beacon for brands to come.
"To change the way we do business, collaboration is key. We have been working with Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana to progress the sustainability conversation in Italy for a long time, but we recognize our industry’s global footprint." - Renzo Rosso
With Rosso leading the name, Diesel is a killer example of what a major fashion label ought to be. We respect his steadfast dedication to the planet, without compromising his edgy appeal.
What Makes The Fashion Pact So Cool?
Fashion is just one industry that makes up a broader capitalistic network. The end goal? Profit. For brands in the game, this means that every other player is inherently a competitor.
To think that The Fashion Pact has united hundreds of competitors in a global mission for the greater good speaks volumes. And we hear the message loud and clear.
Rosso, founder of Diesel, was right. If we want to make a positive environmental impact—and do so fast—collaboration is crucial. We didn't get to this place alone, so it's going to take a crowd to pull us out of the trenches.
Collaboration... it really has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?
An Urgent Response to the Environmental Crisis
It should come as no surprise that the petrol industry is the largest polluter in the world. What may surprise you, however, is that the fashion industry comes in second place.
- Without using any recycled water, it takes 11,000 litres of water to make a single pair of jeans. That's enough water for one person to shower 285 times.
- The production of polyester—the most popular textile in the clothing industry—uses 70 million barrels of oil each year.
- Clothing accounts for about 279 billion kilos of landfill waste...per year.
- Plastic kills upwards of 100,000 marine animals each year. Every time you wash a synthetic article of clothing, thousands of nonbiodegradable microfibres come loose.
These are just a few facts that prove how much of an effect fashion has on the planet. We need to wear clothes (most of the time), so we might as well be fashionable. The Fashion Pact proves we can do so without taking a toll on innocent bystanders.
Since the pact includes science-based targets (SBTs), it's bound to make a difference. Things like renewable energy and natural resources will help boost a major net-zero goal within the next few decades.
"Holding fashion brands to Science-Based Targets is incredibly important for industry change. It removes the wiggle room potential of many broad and ambiguous commitments we’ve seen up until now." - Orsola de Castro, Co-Founder of Fashion Revolution.
What Can You Do To Help?
You may not be a fashion designer, but with your style, we're sure you can help. Consumers with style on their mind can help push the sustainable agenda in a number of ways, including:
- Promote secondhand apparel. Make vintage a priority, and reduce the amount of new clothing you acquire. When you're done with apparel, donate it or opt for a clothing swap with your trendiest friends.
- Get the word out. Hop on Instagram and shout sustainability to the world. Tell your network about the impact of fashion and what they can do to change things.
- Wear clothes from brands with an eco-forward motive. Sport luxury clothing from lines in The Fashion Pact, or wear apparel from all-natch indie brands.
Nike has the right idea. However you do your part, just do it.
Other Noteworthy Sustainability Moves in 2020
The Fashion Pact is a bold move, and one we're behind one hundo p. With that said, it's far from the only sustainable movement going on in 2020. We're proud to share some more noteworthy endeavours that highlight the importance of sustainability just as much as the coalition.
Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Change
Another signatory-based coalition, this agreement from the United Nations targets fashion brands, NGOs, media outlets, governments and more. It also aims to garner support from 50% of the fashion industry!
Copenhagen Fashion Summit
In 2019, the event centralized around sustainability. 1,300 people attended, all with an eco-friendly motive. At an event like this, it's not the CEOs making a difference—it's the folks on the fringes. Don't expect any less from 2020.
Another killer apparel rental platform is on the horizon!
Walpole Sustainability Manifesto
Walpole is a luxury lobby group, and they've gotten 40 UK brands to back their sustainability manifesto. Extending product life, reducing waste and using renewable energy are just a few of their points.
Isabella Oliver Rental Program
You can now rent upscale maternity style from this UK brand. This is perfect since maternity clothing has such a short lifespan (typically 4 months into pregnancy until 5 weeks after birth).
Net Sustain Beauty
Italian Net-a-Porter has an eco-conscious platform called Net Sustain. This year, they're adding beauty products to the roster, with 27 brands already up!
Debenhams Sustainability Targets
In 2019, Debenhams cut back on packaging by 22% and sent zero clothes hangers to the landfill. Now, they're aiming for sustainably sourced cotton by 2022.
PVH Corp Partners with Fordham University
PVH (owner of Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein and more) started a five-year partnership with NY-based fashion school Fordham University. The fashion business leaders of tomorrow will have sustainability on their mind at the start of their careers.
The Good Cashmere Standard
How do you know if cashmere is sustainably produced? Aid by Trade Foundation will tell ya'! They've developed the world's first standard for socially and environmentally accountable cashmere.
Is The Fashion Pact Enough?
With such an urgent need for environmental action, we can't help but wonder if The Fashion Pact is going to make enough of an impact. It could very well be a global excuse to avoid implementing legislation, right?
There's no denying that The Fashion Pact is a major leap forward. With more and more brands joining the ranks, it puts much-needed pressure on all the other organizations who've yet to sign on. Sometimes, all you need is a little boost to get moving.
However, keep in mind that this pact has a goal of collaborating with just 20% of the industry. Many of the targets are set for 2050, even though experts claim that irreversible climate damage is only a decade out.
All in all, The Fashion Pact promises a lot, but we hope that the industry pushes on with bigger and bigger goals. At this rate, we all need it.
Another Trendy Chance for the Planet
When you think about it, The Fashion Pact is an effort to tie a neat little bow on an undeniably complex dilemma. Like a diamond, sustainability in the fashion industry is multifaceted, and we need to look at it from every angle to see what's going on.
Nonetheless, this agreement is a well-concerted effort to move fashion in the right direction. With influential names freckling the contract, we can only hope that more and more brands will sign on—for the planet and all the life it supports.
At the end of the day, the world can only sustain this rate of consumption and waste for so long, and it's going to take much more than a pinkie swear to flip the switch.