Fashion 4 Development is partnering with the Altru Institute to play up the importance of making sustainability fashionable, by scaling the most promising technological advances, creating a more circular supply chain and inspiring new initiatives for collective change. An inaugural dinner honoring the United Nations’ former director-general Michael Møller was planned for Monday night for the start of Altru’s weeklong Winter Summit in Davos, Switzerland. Marcel Skibba, head chef at IGNIV by Andreas Caminada at the Badrutt’s Palace Hotel, was tasked with the evening’s menu.

A “Ladies Who Inspire Luncheon” will be held today for the group’s “Agents of Change” in sustainability who are also gathering for presentations about the latest technology, panel discussions and fireside chats. F4D Solutions’ managing director Jeanine Ballone planned to address how to reimagine supply chains to save water, protect forestry, reduce pollution and try to eliminate plastics.

During an interview with F4D founder Evie Evangelou in New York last week, Ballone said, “What’s happening is no one is pivoting to the new ways of production — only the young upcoming companies are trying new ways of developing products. We have these old stalwarts that are saying they’re doing things. There’s no transparency to trace sustainability. No one is holding anyone accountable for anything. So what are they actually doing?”

From her standpoint, if people take the time to read CSR reports, they will find that most companies’ sustainability efforts amount to one element such as an environmentally friendly capsule collection or a limited use of recycles fibers — as opposed to systematic changes. “None of these are the real active changes that are needed. They won’t be, if we continue to allow these big companies to continue to get away with it.”

While luxury consumption — as in more thoughtful, stand-the-test-of-time purchases, is a start, it’s not the end-all, she said. If consumerism isn’t radically slowed down, companies will need to activate supply chain changes fairly quickly, Ballone said. To that end, the resale market, trade-in incentives, take-back programs from brands and peer-to-peer rentals continue to gain traction with Gen Z and Millennials. More impactful is banning people from throwing away clothing in landfills, household bins and incinerators — a mandate that Ireland is initiating — and tagging garments with markers to help regulate waste management, Ballone said.

“Right now apparel companies need to be innovative. That’s what I’m really pushing. These guys are big companies — they know what they have to do. We can’t tell them any more. Now they should be penalized by the financial institutions [that support them], the governments and by the people.” she said. “Regulations are also an important part of that. We can just keep making s–t that we can’t get rid of. There is no way to recycle our way out of it.

 

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