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Fashion Brands Pledge to Reduce Footprint, Remain Fabulous

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Some of the world’s leading clothing brands are pledging to make their industry more environmentally sustainable. Like a G7 At this afternoon’s international G7 economic forum in Biarritz, France, 32 companies representing around 150 fashion brands have signed on to a sustainability agreement that seeks to reduce the clothing industry’s environmental impact. Called the G7 Fashion Pact, the agreement, which was presented by French President Emmanuel Macron and François-Henri Pinault, chairman and chief executive officer of the luxury group Kering, has been called the first serious push by a group of private industries to help combat global warming. Sustainability, But Make It Fashion Kering represents luxury brands such as Gucci and Saint Laurent. The company was tapped in May by Macron to recruit companies from across the fashion spectrum for the inative. The agreement includes activewear brands such as Adidas and Nike, “fast fashion” companies like H&M and The Gap and department stores such as Nordstrom and Selfridges. Unless you’re a full-time nudist, some brand you wear was likely included. Fashion Goals The fashion industry has been a bit quicker to jump on the environmentally conscious movement than some industries, as 231 fashion companies have already adopted science-based measures to combat global warming, but this is the most high-profile move the industry has made yet. The companies have pledged to switch to 100% renewable energy by 2030, moving to "wildlife-friendly" approaches to agriculture, mining, and forestry; and eliminating the use of single-use plastics (in both business-to-business and business-to-consumer packaging) by 2030 and to prioritize circularity, a concept promoted by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation that encourages using recycled textiles. Also, the signees hope to recruit 20% of the global fashion industry to this effort. And it’s not a moment to soon, as the UN Climate Change has found that unless things change, the textile and apparel industry’s emissions will rise more than 60% by 2030. Stay Fashionable While this is volunteer agreement, it seems like the fashion industry realizes that, in the wake of government inactivity, consumers increasingly want industries to take a stronger role in combating climate change. -Michael Tedder Photo: Benoit Tessier/REUTERS