Global Fashion Agenda lists seven sustainability priorities for fashion industry leaders
The Global Fashion Agenda (GFA), a non-profit initiative on fashion sustainability founded in 2016, has published its first 'CEO Agenda' report, ahead of the Copenhagen Fashion Summit, the sustainable fashion event launched in 2009 by Eva Kruse (to which the GFA is linked), which is scheduled on 15th-16th May. The 'CEO Agenda' report was compiled in collaboration with groups like Kering, H&M and Li & Fung. It lists the seven priority initiatives senior managers in the fashion world ought to undertake to make the industry more sustainable.
"Fashion is one of the world's most important industries, as well as one of the most resource and manpower-intensive ones. The environmental, social and ethical challenges which face the fashion industry today aren't only a threat to the planet, but to the industry itself. This is why there is no other alternative to making sustainable development an integral part of every corporation's commercial strategy," said Eva Kruse, CEO of the Global Fashion Agenda.
The report begins by outlining three priorities which should be actioned immediately. The first is the traceability of the entire supply chain, a considerable challenge for an industry in which production is a highly fragmented process. The second relates to the intelligent use of water, energy and chemicals, and the third to respect and safety in the workplace. The report underlines how 60 million people working in the fashion industry are or have been exposed to employment-related risks, ranging from dangerous working conditions to discrimination.
The CEO Agenda then examines the four changes that need to be progressively introduced in order to engineer an in-depth transformation of the fashion industry.
The first is the use of eco-designed materials, to reduce the negative impact of existing fibres and develop new, innovative and more sustainable ones. Secondly, the report encourages CEOs to work as much as possible within a circular economy. In other words, to prioritise the creation of products and new collections which allow for large-scale reuse and recycling of textiles. Promoting better salary systems is the third area of change, and the report ends by outlining the need for a "fourth industrial revolution."
The CEO Agenda in fact emphasises that, by 2025, 25% of apparel output is expected to be produced by robots, a transformation which will primarily affect poorly qualified labour in emerging countries. The report reminds the industry's senior managers of the need to prepare the workforce to this inevitable transition.
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