Luxury fashion steps up the green game at COP26

The UN Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Change set new goals that its signatory brands must meet by no later than 2030. Will the fashion industry commit to reducing its carbon emissions and embrace environmental-friendly practices for future generations?

Morgane Nyfeler

By Morgane Nyfeler23 novembre 2021

A general view of the Stella McCartney stand at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum ahead of the GREAT Fashion For Climate Action event on November 09, 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Peter Summers/Getty Images for BFC)

Early November, the Conference of the Parties saw its 26th climate change summit take place in Glasgow, where the world’s politicians, activists and business leaders gathered to discuss the most pressing environmental and social issues we’re facing today. It was two weeks of promising commitments and gripping negotiations that didn’t bring us much closer to the goal of the Paris Agreement to keep global warming to 1.5°C. Some initiatives, such as the Glasgow Climate Pact, were however taken to amp up climate action and give hope to communities that are already fighting climate change in their daily lives.

The fashion industry accounts for 8-10% of the global carbon emissions, and nearly 20% of wastewater

The World Bank

The COP26 gave the more than 130 brands that signed the UN Fashion Industry Charter in 2018 the opportunity to update their targets to reduce the sector's environmental impact (DR)

In the fashion world, the UN Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Change, launched in 2018 and signed by no less than 130 brands, upgraded its goals during COP26 to cut down fashion’s environmental impact. The fashion industry accounts for 8-10% of the global carbon emissions, and nearly 20% of wastewater, while 57% of discarded clothing goes to landfill each year. Under the new agreement, brands must pledge to reach net-zero emissions no later than 2050 and either halve their emissions by 2030 – a step up from the previous 30% cut by 2030 – or set science-based targets by the end of 2023. Greenwashing is also a hot topic of the charter as the fashion industry needs to change the way it markets its products, and guidelines by the United Nations Environment Programme are set to be published next year.

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