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At a special event held at the United Nations last week, the Texpertise Network of Messe Frankfurt, the Conscious Fashion Campaign and the United Nations Office for Partnerships invited more than 100 guests from media, business, politics and various associations to learn about the organizations’ efforts to adopt and implement the Sustainable Development Goals into the fashion and textiles industries.

Its joint mission aims to communicate the importance of sustainable development to the fashion industry’s diverse international audience by integrating the SDGs into more than 50 leading international textile trade fairs worldwide — that means more than 22,000 companies, and over half-a-million trade visitors annually, Messe Frankfurt explained.

The 17 SDGs — inclusive of goals such as eradicating poverty, promoting good health and well-being, reducing inequality and combatting climate change — have inspired the private sector and other stakeholders to prioritize sustainable development, resulting in fashion brands, retailers and participants throughout the supply chain taking action to embrace sustainability, in all its facets, and espouse corporate responsibility. Referred to as the “Decade of Action and Delivery for Sustainable Development,” the goals are part of Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development. 

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Detlef Braun, member of the Executive Board at Messe Frankfurt. Courtesy of Rich Dodge for Messe Frankfurt. 

Robert Skinner, executive director of the United Nations Office for Partnerships, told WWD, “The United Nations Office for Partnerships recognizes the strong influence of the textile and fashion industry and has seen that key actors in the sector are taking positive action on sustainable practices. However, because we also know that the industry needs to do better in this area, we will work with Messe Frankfurt and the Conscious Fashion Campaign to motivate others to take on sustainable practices for people and planet. UNOP welcomes this opportunity with Messe Frankfurt to reach broad audiences and push for action and delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.”

The CFC, which officially launched this month to support and accelerate the adoption sustainable development goals via attendee engagement at fashion industry events, said it has already secured key global partnerships over the last year. Kerry Bannigan, founder, CFC, explained, “Following a one-year pilot phase to discover what the fashion industry understood about the SDGs and what else could be implemented, the CFC immersed itself into the retail event sector, and specifically trade shows to connect with brands and retailers at the beginning of the buying cycle. With partnerships in the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, The Netherlands and China with names including Coterie, Project and Magic, Neonyt, Pure London, Who’s Next Paris, and Kingpins, we have already introduced the SDGs to over 96,000 retailers and buyers representing 87 countries.”

And Messe Frankfurt discussed its commitment to promoting the SDGs, as well as its upcoming trade show in Berlin, Neonyt, held on Jan. 14 to 16, which focuses on sustainability and innovation in fashion. Detlef Braun, member of the Executive Board at Messe Frankfurt, said “Along with digitization, sustainability is a topic currently exerting a significant influence on the global textile industry. Messe Frankfurt has been accompanying this development with its worldwide textile events under the umbrella of the Texpertise Network for more than 10 years. It is therefore a logical conclusion that the Sustainable Development Goals should be integrated in our worldwide textile events to generate acute awareness of the importance of sustainability in the textile industry.”

For more Business news from WWD, see:

Field Notes: From Farm to Closet

Jewelry Designer Melissa Joy Manning Talks Sustainability, Sourcing

Candiani Creates First Biodegradable Stretch Denim

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