Yesterday's Woman's Hour episode highlighted the current global conversation surrounding the goal of reaching 'net-zero', asking what the phrase really means while pondering over what world leaders 'could and should' be doing. The conversation doesn't stop there, though, as of today, collectives such as Fashion Roundtable, Fashion Revolution, Centre for Sustainable Fashion, Common Objective, Eco Age, and The Sustainable Angle have penned an open letter - in collaboration with businesses and civil society organisations - to world leaders ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP26, calling for officials to recognise the impactful role fashion can play in reaching the so-called dreamy 'net-zero' target.
The open letter highlights fashion's role in our ever-changing society, subsequently writing home the importance of including the billion-dollar industry in addressing net-zero and climate change goals, encouraging leaders to, if nothing else, recognise this importance and act accordingly in the hopes of promoting and pursuing immediate longterm change.
Highlighting the need for collective action, the letter touches upon aspects like waste elimination, business responsibility and education with five conclusive points designed to not only encourage but support individuals (and big businesses) in achieving thee proposed goals.
Tamara Cincik, CEO of Fashion Roundtable remarked:
'COP26 is a fantastic opportunity to remind the world's leaders, not only of the importance that the fashion industry plays in the global economy, but also that many of us are united in seeking new ways of doing business, which place people and planet first. The world's precious resources are finite: we need to embed a resourceful and collectively responsible business model into how we shift from a linear to a circular economy. This call to action is a united voice and we hope that the world's leaders take this moment to address the climate crisis, with the solutions and far reaching policies it requires from all of us.'
Fashion Revolution added:
'Human rights and the rights of nature are interconnected and interdependent. We are part of the wider living world and our right to a healthy environment depends on the health of our planet. We need a revolutionary shift in our relationships with each other, with our clothes, within fashion supply chains, and with the natural world, for our own prosperity and wellbeing, and for the health of our earth, rivers and oceans.'
It's no secret that the fashion industry has contributed to harmful environmental practices and conditions over the years, many of which have had their moment in the public eye yet as such a key part of our global economy and, of everyone's lives, it needs to play a prominent part in the solution, something which the industry itself undeniably recognises. The resourcefulness and creativity to tackle climate change exists already within the industry, but its potential is minimal without the support of world leaders. This open letter calls for a collective effort in striving to make the world a better place, something that, at least hopefully by now, should be a commonplace realisation among many.