Fashion Industry Charter is on the A-List for Climate Action 

Here’s a progress report on the companies involved with United Nation’s Fashion Charter for Climate Change. 

The Fashion Charter for Climate Change was set up with the support of UN Climate Change in 2018 to provide a pathway for the industry to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, in line with global efforts to limit warming to 1.5C. Other commitments in the Charter include sourcing 100% of electricity from renewable sources by 2030, sourcing of environmentally friendly raw materials, and phasing out coal from the supply chain by 2030. 

EDGE reported in 2020 the Charter signatories’ first phase of this commitment, the Climate Action Playbook. The Playbook was developed by the industry, for the industry, with an intent primarily on less experienced fashion companies that have not taken on the challenge of climate change but want to. It’s an initial document that helps all fashion stakeholders identify what actions to take and which initiatives and programs could support them. 

Now, three years later, a new report by UN Climate Change and CDP, a non-profit that runs the global environmental disclosure system, reports that companies in the Charter are making progress when it comes to climate action. More than 80% of them are publicly reporting on their progress in line with their commitments, including renewable energy targets, Scope 3 emissions – a company’s supply chain emissions not directly controlled by the company, and engaging with policymakers on climate-related issues, influencing policy, law, or regulation. 

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CDP, holding the largest environmental database in the world, captures yearly data across all sectors on their climate change, deforestation, and water security disclosures. In 2022, with Europe taking the lead, 18,700+ companies, representing half of global market capitalization, disclosed, realizing a 42% increase over last year and over 233% more than when the Paris Agreement was signed in 2015.   

Each year, those companies leading the way in environment transparency and performance are recognized on the CDP A-List. In 2022, 330+ companies were recognized by which ten Fashion Charter companies made the A-List (eight of the ten, below): 

LVMH (Louis Vuitton, Fendi, Christian Dior, Marc Jacobs, Stella McCartney) for Climate, Forests, Water Security 

Kering (Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, Puma) for Climate 

Burberry Group for Climate 

Inditex (fast fashion brand, ZARA) for Climate 

The Gap for Water Security 

Lenzing AG (fiber) for Climate, Forests, and Water Security 

Superdry (UK Clothing Co) for Climate 

VF Corp for Climate  

Standard Issue Yarn on Machine

The fashion industry certainly has a long way to go, with its ranking as the third largest polluter after food and construction, but this is progress, particularly with the collective market capitalization of these ‘A-List’ companies. According to Statista, in September 2022, LVMH was by far the clothing company with the highest market cap, at approximately 317 billion U.S. dollars. This was over 150 billion dollars more than Nike, the company in second place. 

Images: Courtesy of Standard Issue

Related Topic: It’s Standard Practice to be Sustainable | An Interview with Standard Issue

The New Zealand knitwear brand, Standard Issue, defines sustainable fashion. With it’s vertically integrated sustainable practices from yarn procurement to consumer end-use, Standard Issue is a leader in socio-economic and environmental clothing manufacturing.

Advances in knitting machine technology means we can now knit garments all in one with zero-waste.

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Rhonda P. Hill

Founder, Publishing Editor