Condé Nast has pledged to the UN’s Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action, becoming what the UN claims is the first media outlet to do so.
Although it’s been a trying year for media, print is not dead, but it can be made more sustainable. The media company, with titles such as Vogue, The New Yorker, GQ, Glamour, Wired and Vanity Fair, touts print distribution to more than 84 million consumers.
Francois Souchet, lead of the Make Fashion Circular initiative at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, said the announcement is an “important signal” to many industries, including fashion.
Working closely with the foundation as part of its New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, the company aims to carve a more sustainable roadmap to 2025, starting with its packaging. Over the last year, more than half of Condé Nast’s “owned operations began phasing out fossil-based, non-recyclable plastic wrapping in subscription or newsstand uses, or both, seeking to eliminate the use of plastics altogether or to opt instead for recycled and bio-based alternatives.”
Fashion media are vying to lead environmentally. Earlier this month, fashion editors joined together in preparation for the holiday season to boycott, opt-out or selectively reduce p.r. gifting activities.
Asked if recyclable plastic is still to be used, a Condé Nast spokesperson said tests are running in a majority of its markets to uncover the best alternative, with options ranging from recycled plastics made from post-consumer recycled waste, biodegradable bio-based content, paper or naked mailing.
But where the latter three options are not feasible, the company will be working with suppliers “to ensure that magazines wrapping contains at least 30 percent PCR content.”
The spokesperson outlined the importance of sustainability to Condé Nast’s employees and its customers, even referencing market research done on Vogue’s audience that found that three in four readers consider the environmental impact of fashion as “important to them.”
Condé Nast’s first assessment report in early 2020 will outline the company’s global sustainability strategy, including targets for greenhouse gases, with an additional internal audit that covers plastic and paper.
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