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According to the United Nations, the world needs to radically slash emissions by 2030 if it’s to have a chance of avoiding climate catastrophe. The fashion industry, one of the world’s biggest polluters, is at a critical point of inflection if it wants to reshape itself in line with global ambitions to curb climate change and establish responsible business practices.
“It’s a really important moment to make a number of changes if we are to meet global climate goals …” said Sarah Kent, BoF’s chief sustainability correspondent. “It’s very important that the industry acts now.”
On the heels of releasing the second, expanded edition of The BoF Sustainability Index — which assesses companies’ progress towards ambitious 2030 goals across categories such as emissions and workers’ rights — Kent and Diana Lee, director of research and analysis at BoF Insights, join Imran Amed, BoF’s founder and editor-in-chief to unpack their findings, answer questions and lay out what needs to happen next.
- Progress on sustainability has been slow. But, a few shifts are coming that may push fashion forward — including EU regulation aimed at the textile industry, and emergence of new models like resale and rental.
- Plenty of companies have set ambitious sustainability goals. What is important now is that they move beyond target setting to real action.
- Given that most brands don’t own their own factories, to make real progress, companies have to take charge of their whole value chains, not just their own supply chains.
- While growing revenue and sales are often at odds with promoting less waste and consumption, there are ways to generate financial gain through reuse, especially as new technologies emerge and fashion moves to be more about community and less about peddling things.
- Though it can’t wait for full transparency to act, fashion needs better data to understand where there are opportunities for improvement.
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