Forest fires in the Amazon, gender equality and the digital revolution: These issues currently in the spotlight worldwide were on the agenda at this year's G7 summit in Biarritz from 24 to 26 August 2019. But during these days, one seven-page document focused primarily on the textile industry: On the eve of the summit, this year's host President Emmanuel Macron published the statement of the newly minted G7 Fashion Pact jointly with 32 major fashion companies. The Fashion Pact's ultimate aim is to protect the planet: "The global fashion industry ... is one of the most impactful and therefore should also have the power to play a pivotal role in leading the shift towards a more sustainable future," the statement reads. In April this year President Macron appointed Chairman and CEO of Kering François-Henri Pinault to spearhead the initiative.
Stop global warming, restore biodiversity and protect the oceans: The Fashion Pact's measures are supported by the Science based targets initiative (SBTi). They also aim to meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement, which include reducing CO2 emissions to net zero by 2050, scaling up regenerative farming and banning single-use plastics by 2030. "As we work in shared supply chains across the world, PUMA believes that it is essential to bring the industry together to achieve meaningful change and improve our environmental impact,” commented PUMA CEO Bjørn Gulden. In addition to Puma, the Fashion Pact’s signatories include major players like Inditex, Chanel and Stella McCartney. From the luxury fashion market to discount brands: measured by product volume, the Fashion Pact is expected to represent at least 20 per cent of the global fashion industry.
Whether the guidelines also lead to concrete action remains to be seen. During the panel discussion "10 Years of Sustainability" at the Fashionsustain conference of the sustainability trade show Neonyt in July 2019, Fashion Revolution co-founder Orsola DeCastro noted that the change must come from within the companies and governments: "The onus is completely, 100 per cent, on brands, corporations and governments ... We need to tackle the issues in the type of collaboration that is practical and that makes change. It is not any longer about the conversation, we really need to move to action.”
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