The fashion industry has a problem: a sustainability problem. According to UN Environment, it’s the second-largest consumer of water and generates “more greenhouse gas emissions than all international flights and maritime shipping combined.” The industry is also notorious for producing waste; the Ellen MacArthur Foundation reports that approximately “one garbage truck of textiles is wasted every minute.” Now, major brands like Chanel, Gucci, and Prada are joining forces to make lasting change in the fashion industry. According to Vogue UK, they’ve signed up for the “Fashion Pact,” which aims to help combat the fashion world’s negative impact on our “climate, biodiversity, and the oceans.”
The luxury fashion brands join fast-fashion retailers like H&M and sportswear favorites like Nike and Adidas. Burberry, Armani, Ferragamo, and Hermès are also part of the endeavor. The pact dictates that the companies must “eliminate single-use plastics by 2030 and back textile innovations to mitigate microfiber pollution.” Microfiber pollution is a major issue within the industry; the Ellen McArthur Foundation reports that clothing releases “half a million tons of microfibres into the ocean every year, equivalent to more than 50 billion plastic bottles.”
The pact also outlines emission guidelines; brands are set on a path to hit net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. According to Vogue UK, the Fashion Pact isn’t a legally-binding document, but it was put in place by French President Emmanuell Macron, who nominated Kerig luxury group president François-Henri Pinault to lead the charge earlier this year.
This is a big step in the right direction for the luxury fashion industry; brands like Stella McCartney have been pushing for more sustainable practices for years, and even Zara is getting in on the sustainable fashion movement. Earlier this year, France announced that it would ban the burning of luxury goods as an attempt to cut down on waste. Some climate change activist groups are calling for an end to Fashion Weeks, while others are making a difference by refusing to buy new clothing for an entire year. While we still have a lot of work to do to make the fashion industry more sustainable and responsible, we’re happy to see that these major brands are joining forces to make change.
“We are proud to be part of this initiative. Thanks to the Fashion Pact, for the first time, major fashion industry players are joining forces to take on the largest environmental challenges of our century,” said Ferruccio Ferragamo, President of Salvatore Ferragamo, in a statement sent to Teen Vogue. “Meeting today’s needs without preventing future generations from meeting theirs is an immense challenge that we must all resolve together.”
Chanel echoed the sentiment, saying “CHANEL is aligned with the objectives announced in the Fashion Pact and has decided to join this coalition. It relates to issues on which CHANEL has already made significant commitments: climate change, protection of the world’s biodiversity and protection of the oceans. CHANEL has had goals in place for many years to reduce its own environmental footprint. These goals are key to its transformation strategy, and the House has stepped up its investments in this area. CHANEL will communicate shortly on its commitments.”
H&M Group's CEO Karl-Johan Persson says: “I want H&M Group to continue to be a positive force towards resolving these shared challenges. We have a lot of experience when it comes to working with sustainability, and strongly believe in the benefits of sharing knowledge and collaborating. We can accomplish more when we all share the same high ambitions and join forces to achieve them. The Fashion Pact will create an unprecedented platform for that."
Teen Vogue has also reached out to Gucci, Prada, Nike, Adidas. Burberry, Armani, and Hermès for comment.
Originally Appeared on Teen Vogue