We know that if the apparel industry is to be sustainable, we have to combat overproduction, get rid of season-based productions and eliminate short-term trends. In other words: make an end to fashion. But do we really want that? Or should we rather try and change the industry dramatically?
The overall focus for Global Fashion Agenda in 2020 and 2021 is Redesigning Value. For that, the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a great compass. So, during Global Fashion Agenda’s 2020 online summit, CFS+, @GANNI’s Founder, Nicolaj Reffstrup and @UNDP’s Stine Kirstein Junge met to discuss GANNI’s participation of the UNDP Accelerator Programme for Small Medium size Enterprises, and in particular SDG 12: Responsible consumption and production.
The UN programme is directed at the private sector, since they, as Junge put it, “are good at coming up with solutions (…) and especially the SME’s, because they are agile, they are innovative, and many of them are also very tech savvy.”
But how can a fashion company be responsible when it continues to contribute to overproduction? Junge asked Reffstrup about garments ending up at landfills, getting burned etc., and he explained:
“It’s a huge problem. Especially when you as we do ‘acknowledge’ that you are a fashion brand. We create collections that don’t just satisfy a functional need like a basic piece of garment. But what we do is also kind of cater for people’s needs for aesthetically pleasing design. It’s raw consumption, basically.”
For GANNI, the steps towards change have been gigantic during the 12 months that they participated in the UN programme. Going from just 4% of sustainable materials to 73%. As Reffstrup said:
“It’s easier with basics. But only if we manage to also create a fashion collection that does no harm – or very little harm – can we achieve full impact. We have a long way to go.”
If you are a SME interested in participating in the UN programme, Reffstrup says, “It’s supercool! And I think it would be extremely helpful to all SME’s to get started on the process and to get the blue stamp from the UN but also access some of the resources.” Learn more at SDG-accelerator.org.
Watch the full CFS+ 2020 conversation here.