One year ago, chief executives across fashion began a collaborative effort to transform our industry – to bend the curve away from environmental crisis, and towards a more just, durable, and ecologically responsible fashion industry in which all parties are able to thrive.
Over the past year, the trauma of the COVID-19 pandemic has been tempered by brilliant displays of altruism and collaboration. Businesses have embraced new responsibilities. Governments have taken extraordinary action to protect their citizens. Citizens have erupted in gratitude for workers who risked their lives for the greater good.
But we have also seen the cost of a failure to cooperate. Our response to the pandemic has been hampered by lack of international collaboration. Multilateral organisations have faltered, and, in the absence of a globally coordinated response, nations have had to fend for themselves. Today, months after the first lockdowns, normality remains a distant aspiration.
Contained within the challenge of the pandemic is a valuable lesson: global crises demand global solutions. This is true of COVID-19, of course, but it also applies to climate change, global inequality, and the destruction of the natural world. On issues as grave and far-reaching as these, meaningful progress will elude us until everybody changes together.
The Fashion Pact was born out of the recognition that only collective action can change the environmentally harmful impact of the fashion industry. It is an unprecedented coalition, with peers, competitors, established brands, newcomers, high-end labels, mainstream retail chains, manufacturers, and marketplaces, all coming together to work hand-in-hand on the most pressing issues facing our planet.
We are proud of what we have achieved in our first year. Our members, with the support of brilliant external experts, have made the first strides toward meaningfully changing the fashion industry. Our governance is now well in place and we have defined tangible targets and KPIs. But the road ahead is long. This report is inherently incomplete. Our ambition is such that we cannot achieve everything in one year.
As we progress, we will continue to be guided by our conviction that the changes we are fighting for are essential for the future not only of the planet but of the fashion industry itself. Because in a world of runaway climate change and ecological collapse, no business can succeed for long.
No single company or executive can enact change at the scale or speed needed to protect our planet. So, to others in the fashion industry and our expanded community, we invite your dialogue, participation, scrutiny, and encouragement. We’re here to hasten progress for all of us. Your involvement will strengthen us in our mission to help the planet, and save the industry we love.
Chairman and CEO of Kering and Co-Chair of the Fashion Pact Steering Committee
Co-founder of IMAGINE and Co-Chair of the Fashion Pact Steering Committee
Full report here.