President Donald Trump might be willing to step back from the issue of climate change but fashion isn’t.
Retailers, brands and executives across the industry reacted strongly to Trump’s decision to start the four-year process to withdraw from the United Nation’s climate accord. The deal was hammered out in Paris in 2015 and commits countries to take steps to keep the global temperature rise this century to “well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.”
Trump said the accord was a job killer, but many companies chimed in, saying climate change is a topic that’s important to both their businesses and their consumers.
Here’s what fashion had to say about Trump’s climate move, directly to WWD and via social media:
François-Henri Pinault, chairman and chief executive officer, Kering, via Twitter
“Mr. President, in the Sixties, America was walking on the moon. The new frontier is sustainability. #FHPinault #MakeOurPlanetGreatAgain”
Kevin Plank, founder and ceo, Under Armour Inc.
“I believe in keeping one’s word and doing everything possible to execute on our commitments. We at Under Armour are disappointed by the administration’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement as climate change continues to threaten our planet, our cities and our economies. Climate change is real and must be taken seriously by our business community, our customers, our neighbors and our elected officials.”
Designer Eileen Fisher
“I am deeply saddened by the administration’s choice to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement. I recently had the pleasure of attending the Copenhagen Fashion Summit and was energized by the conversations and commitments made by many brands — big and small — to truly incorporate sustainability practices into their business models. Now is the time for our industry to use its creativity toward solving the global environmental crisis. This isn’t just the fashion industry’s issue — it is everyone’s issue.”
Chip Bergh, president and ceo of Levi Strauss & Co., on LinkedIn
“As the leader of a global company with a longstanding reputation for never choosing easy over right, I can say that Levi Strauss & Co. will continue to drive efforts to reduce our carbon footprint and combat the effects of climate change. The administration’s decision to back out of the Paris Accord will not change Levi Strauss & Co.’s commitment to reducing our impact on the environment; and we will continue to pursue technologies that can reduce the apparel industry’s environmental impact.”
Doug McMillon, ceo of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., on Twitter
“Disappointed in today’s news about the Paris agreement. We think it’s important for countries to work together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. I’m proud that Wal-Mart has led on renewable energy and emission reductions for more than a decade, and that we’re continuing to lead through Project Gigaton. It’s the right thing to do for our customers, our business and the environment.”
“We are deeply disappointed by the recent shift in climate policy. Nike believes that climate change is a serious global threat and that the world will need to radically redesign industrial systems and economies in order to enable a low-carbon growth economy. We will continue to honor the core commitments of the American Business Act on Climate Change Pledge, including reaching 100 percent renewable energy in all Nike-owned or -operated facilities around the world by 2025, participating in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge and advancing materials innovation globally.”
VF Corp. spokesman
“VF is disappointed in the administration’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement. Leaving this agreement undermines opportunities for U.S. jobs and companies to continue innovation and expand sales, and cedes leadership to other countries to shape policies and implementation of the Paris Agreement provisions. As one of the world’s largest apparel and footwear companies, we will continue to do our part to limit our emissions and mitigate the impacts of climate change. We strongly believe it is our responsibility to help protect the natural environments we all share and are passionate about exploring, and we will remain deeply committed to this issue.”
L’Oréal, via Twitter
“L’Oréal commits to the #environment all around the globe. Focus on our 2016 initiatives #Sustainability”
REI via Facebook
“For everyone with a deep love for our lands and waters, today is a sad day. To see the U.S. formally step away from playing a leadership role in the world on the subject of protecting our environment is deeply disappointing. Pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement is a step back for the outdoors, for our nation and for our shared future. It is impossible to understand any logic that claims that pursuing clean air, water and land — protecting our environment — is somehow not in the best interest of the U.S.
We hope and believe that as a people we will persist in doing the right thing for all future generations. We all must rise to the occasion and hold ourselves, our businesses and our government officials accountable to protect our environment. The co-op remains committed to pushing, and fighting, for environmental stewardship within our own operations, across the outdoor industry, in the communities where we work and through proactive engagement with our elected officials.