Global Fashion Summit 2023 – “Ambition to Action

photo credits © Global Fashion Agenda

On June 27 and 28, we attended the Global Fashion Summit in Copenhagen with over 1000 fashion representatives from brands, NGOs, manufacturers, government officials from 28 countries to inspire tangible impact.

The theme of this year’s Summit was “Ambition to Action“, urging industry members to turn their goals and commitments into concrete actions and take steps to improve sustainability into environmental, social and governmental projects.

The fashion industry is in danger of not making it

The message was clear during the Global Fashion Summit 2023 : “the fashion industry will not meet its sustainability goals at the rate it is changing.”

The industry’s carbon emissions are still rising and the factors include:
• overconsumption: which should only increase
• the increase in the production of new products
• the impact on the environment, including deforestation, pollution and loss of biodiversity
• the lack of transparency of many workers still surviving on minimum wages

” There is still a chance for change, but the window is closing rapidly.”

This is the statement the CEO of the Global Fashion Agenda, Federica Marchionni.

Accoding to the IPCC report released this year, the rapid action is needed to achieve the goal of keeping temperature rise below a 1.5 degree Celsius increase.

The industry has the power to change, but we need to redefine the very essence of fashion and we need to create a dialogue among industry policymakers.

The role of laws and government representatives in fashion

photo credits © Global Fashion Agenda

The Global Fashion Summit 2023 also welcomed government representatives to discuss regulations needed in the fashion industry:

Dr. Anna Kelles, a member of the New York State Assembly of Assembly, told how the U.S. market is performing and explained the steps of OECD due diligence to “help companies identify risks related to human rights, labor rights, and the environment”.

Discover more here

Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, contributed to the Conversation on ‘Policy Power: The Global Dimension’.

He began by saying that the linear supply chain creates huge amounts of waste and should instead be circular:

Design is not enough. It is just the first stage. As consumers we have to change our relationship with clothes: go from fast fashion to a long-term sustainable relationship…. No legislation can tell us as consumers how long we have to wear our clothes…. with events like this, we are taking change where it needs to go and that will mean resilience to business and a better planet for the future generation.”

We should expect more details on the proposed regulations in the coming months.

The European Union is expected to introduce regulations
• would ban the destruction of unsold goods
• would require brands to take back old clothes to recycle or reuse them again
• labeling rules will be created to help consumers make better choices about sustainability

The goal of the EU institutions is for all planned regulations requiring fashion companies to produce clothes more sustainably and regulations for textile waste to be in place by 2028, then emphasizing how this will be a big challenge for the fast fashion market.

The Supply chain have to be involved

photo credits © Global Fashion Agenda

The Rana Plaza disaster 10 years ago led to increased awareness and advocacy for workers’ rights: improved working conditions, fair wages, better safety standards, and more transparency in the industry have improved: “The Bangladesh Accord” safety campaign.

Today Bangladesh has the safest and most transparent supply chain in the world.

But what about other countries?

The goal is, of course, to bring other countries up to the same standards as Bangladesh. To achieve this goal, collaboration is necessary.

According to Dr Hakan Karaosman, so far decisions have been made using a top-down approach, with governments and fashion brands deciding what to do next, even though factory owners have to implement these decisions and comply with the new standards.

“Top-down governance structures and exclusive decision-making are a disastrous recipe for all of us, we need to understand plural voices and their representation in decision-making.”

In the transition to a more sustainable and ethical fashion industry, there should be equal decision-making power, so the factory owners should also have a voice.

Our Experience

photo credits © Global Fashion Agenda

We also participated within the Innovation Forum a curated exhibition area that showcases some of the world’s most promising sustainable solutions and fosters matchmaking by connecting exhibitors with fashion brand representatives looking for sustainable solutions along the value chain.

We presented our case studies of Tommy Hilfiger and Hugo Boss on Digital Product Passport and Traceability Platform.

It was also an exceptional opportunity to connect with international leaders, industry experts, and like-minded individuals who share our passion for transparency and sustainability in fashion.

If you would like to access of our Global Fashion Agenda section click this link

Latest Considerations

Overall, the main topic we take away is cooperation through inclusive conversations and trust-based partnerships.

Increasing collaborations between brands, manufacturers, supply chain, and other key players based on trust. We must involve our supply chain, making it an active participant.

This is really an important aspect to spreads knowledge and awareness to make concrete actions.

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