United Nations

Power players in sustainability are convening to accelerate “climate action and ambition” for the global fashion industry — made possible by the Conscious Fashion Campaign.

In collaboration with the United Nations Office for Partnerships, the second edition of its virtual education hub, “Discover the Sustainable Development Goals — to Make Peace With Nature,” will run from April 1 to 30. Its event comes on the heels of its first edition’s successful launch in December 2020 alongside Kering, Tracy Reese, Gabriela Hearst and Allbirds.

This time around, Textile Exchange, Fashion Revolution and 1% for the Planet will participate alongside United Nations entities, environmental organizations and various fashion initiatives, with support from Arch and Hook, Bluesign, Lenzing and TIPA.

“Discover the SDGs” supports the Sustainable Development Goals — 17 urgent calls to action “for a better world,” adopted by all United Nations Member States. And the on-demand virtual experience for its second-edition spotlights short films, documentaries, reports, infographics, videos and informational tools specifically focused on Climate Action, Sustainable Development Goal 13, and the United Nations Secretary General’s 2021 priority to make peace with nature, the Conscious Fashion Campaign explained.

The Conscious Fashion Campaign, in collaboration with the United Nations Office for Partnerships, co-create global fashion event partnerships centered around the “Decade of Action” to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. Founded and led by Kerry Bannigan, the Conscious Fashion Campaign blends advocacy, education and partnership development to support and champion solutions for sustainable innovation in the industry.

Bannigan said that “as the sector works toward a sustainable recovery, we must shift the focus to building the industry in a way that prioritizes workers’ rights and equitable use of the earth’s natural resources. The fashion industry needs to become more aware of its direct link and impact on environmental and social issues as it is an important ally in delivering the Sustainable Development Goals.”

Kerry Bannigan, the founder of the Conscious Fashion Campaign. 

And Tricia Carey, director of Global Business Development Apparel at Lenzing, aligns with the industry’s collective need for partnerships. “With our continued commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals, Lenzing is pleased to extend our partnership for the second edition of Discover the SDGs. As the fashion industry recalibrates to reduce environmental impact and raise social standards, we recognize the need to collaborate in order to reach significant goals. We look forward to an exhilarating program with global participation.”

Discover the SDGs also supports the Race to Zero campaign, aiming to “rally the fashion industry for a healthy, resilient, zero-carbon recovery that prevents future threats, creates decent jobs and unlocks inclusive sustainable growth,” the organization said. In support, its online event “will advocate for climate risk-assessments in all decisions and working together with a common purpose to leave no one behind,” they added.

And as the fashion industry begins its road to recovery from COVID-19, the value chain is poised for transformation — and systemic change.

Jill Dumain, chief executive officer of Bluesign, explained that “despite the very difficult year we just faced, I am optimistic in looking at what businesses can do to promote sustainability. The SDGs provide a unified framework to achieve this by 2030. We are glad to support the Conscious Fashion Campaign and ‘Discover the SDGs — to Make Peace With Nature,’ which will provide valuable tools for advancing knowledge at the intersection of the SDGs and the global fashion industry.”

Participating organizations in the event include members of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Youth Advisory Group; Australian Fashion Council; 1% for the Planet; Awaj Foundation; Bcorp; Canopy; Climate Cardinals; Council of Fashion Designers of America; Ellen MacArthur Foundation; Fashion Act Now; Fashion Revolution; Fashion Roundtable; Fashion Takes Action; Institute of Positive Fashion; Nest; PangeaSeed; Peace Boat; Redress; Remake; Textile Exchange; The Climate Council; The Sustainable Angle; Transformers Foundation, and WWF.

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