Mapping Opportunities for Collective Action to mitigate climate change

Taking Stock: Fashion’s progress towards net zero, priorities for action and what that means for the Fashion Pact.

Forest landscape with dense fog depicting the change in climate
Tackling climate change together

Climate change is one of the most pressing issues of our time and it is widely acknowledged that the fashion industry contributes significantly to the problem via its negative environmental impact. Brands are taking sustainability action and moving in the right direction, but the time is now to step efforts up to a large-scale, collective level.

Keeping track of progress and opportunities

When creating our climate action projects, we are careful to avoid duplicating industry efforts and are committed to going beyond existing progress in the sustainability movement. In order to determine where our collective action and CEO leadership could have the greatest impact, we partnered with Systemiq and 2050 who carried out an industry stocktake to identify white spaces in current actions.

See more about our methodology here.

The “Taking Stock” report

Systemiq and 2050 created the “Taking Stock: Fashion’s progress towards net zero, priorities for action and what that means for The Fashion Pact” report as a result of their research. It primarily assessed the level of industry progress against its environmental footprint, by looking at climate impact through greenhouse gas emissions. It then determined where there were gaps to fill.

In addition to serving as a guide for the core team at The Fashion Pact, the report was also designed to be useful for individual members and the fashion industry at large.

Here is a selection of takeaways that can serve as learning tools on an industry-wide level.

Key learnings for the industry
  • The report identified a selection of “Emissions Reduction Wedges” that hold the potential to halve emissions by 2030 relative to today. This is essential information for any brand looking to reduce their climate impact, giving clear direction of areas to address. They can be seen listed in the infographic below.
  • Systemiq also identified a sub-set of four wedges that have substantial emissions reduction potential, lack strong industry progress and for which collective action by The Fashion Pact could unlock transformational change in the near-term. The sub-wedges in question are:
  1. Energy transition
  2. Feedstock production
  3. Alternative materials
  4. Circular business models and dematerialisation

The identification of these sub-wedges was the catalyst that led to us accelerating action on the energy transition.

The resulting project is the Collective Virtual Power Purchasing Agreement (CVPPA), which involves companies investing together in new clean energy infrastructure. Read more about it here.

Overall, the report notes that taking action will not only help the fashion industry improve its impact on people and the planet, but it will also boost its resilience, future-proof business models, and secure sustainable long-term growth.

This should serve to further spur brands to act – it is good business sense as well as environmentally beneficial. A true win-win situation.

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