This February, Planet Fashion created and produced Sustainable New York Fashion Week. It was a goal of our company to support the global push for more ethical and sustainable business practices in fashion. When the pandemic hit, it seemed like the world in quarantine was oddly beneficial to sustainability. No one was out and pollution around the planet dropped. The reality is that the conversation around sustainable fashion is still important. Going forward all apparel and manufacturing companies need to commit to having a local small batch supply chain with ethical work conditions, banning plastics and petroleum based textiles, and limiting the seasonal collection output.
Now some of the world’s biggest brands in are coming up with innovative ways to support sustainability.
Sustainability researchers say businesses have shown a surge of interest in limiting the harm their operations do to the planet, as scientists have outlined more clearly the threats to forests, water, soil, plants, animals, birds – and people.
“For decades we have been trying to get companies on board with this journey but in the past six to 12 months, I have never seen so much interest,” said Eva Zabey, executive director of Business for Nature, a coalition lobbying for stronger government policies and more corporate action.
At least 400 firms have signed up to international commitments to protect nature, and more than 1,200 companies already are taking some steps in their operations, she added.
The UK is contemplating new laws that would force big companies to clean up their supply chains by fining them if they used products grown on illegally deforested land.
Cath Tayleur, a senior programme manager for business and nature at the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) said “The key message is that your business can’t continue to have negative impacts while still expecting to benefit from the positive aspects of biodiversity,” she told a webinar on business and nature this month.
CASHMERE AND COTTON
The University of Cambridge institute has worked with Asda, France-based luxury goods group Kering, and other companies to produce practical tools for businesses to manage their supply chain risks associated with nature and ultimately become “nature-positive”, which means enriching rather than harming the natural world.
In July, Kering – which owns Gucci, Saint Laurent and Balenciaga, among other top fashion houses – published a biodiversity strategy with a series of targets to achieve what it calls a “net positive” impact by 2025.
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