On the first day we worked in small groups dedicated to one or more of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 to develop fashion specific targets for positive change. On day 2 it was time to put those targets to the test with industry stakeholders. Each group met in turn with a representative from the luxury sector, the high-street, government, manufacturing and civil society to negotiate their objectives for the future.
The High-street was represented by Hendrik Alpen, Sustainability Business Expert at H&M.
The Luxury Sector was represented by Dax Lovegrove, Global Vice President of Swarovski and Myriam Coudoux, Head of Communications.
The Government was represented by Lars Mortensen, Head of International Cooperation and Partnerships at the European Environment Agency.
As part of Flourishing; The Ecological Agenda team, we requested action in four different areas related to Sustainable Development Goals; 13 Climate Action, 14 Life below water and 15 Life on land.
In regards to land use we urged all sectors to work together in the implementation and upscale of alternative ecological materials in substitution of conventional cotton. We requested that by 2030, conventional cotton must be phased out of supply chains. We urged the industry to reduce landfill reliance and invest in recycling technology. This was well received by Hendrik Alpen from H&M, who felt confident these were an achievable target for the High-street. H&M is already on track to reach their personal target of 100% sustainable cotton use by 2020.
When discussing water usage, Dax Lovegrove from Swarovski suggested fashion companies together with manufacturers commit to water stewardship programmes and disclose personal targets for the responsible water consumption.
In order to preserve marine life and protect the health of our oceans from micro-plastic contamination, we also appealed to fashion brands to take the necessary steps to reduce the use of virgin fuel based products by 2030.
We asked companies and manufacturers to the disclose their chemical reduction targets and to comply to frameworks such as the Greenpeace Detox Campaign with the aim of eliminating the use of hazardous chemicals by 2030. We requested the fashion industry move towards a low carbon business model (following Global Climate Action targets set at COP21) and asked companies to publish science based targets for 2022.
We received valuable feedback from all of the stakeholders which enabled us to refine and develop our initial targets into dynamic and achievable objectives. We spent the afternoon condensing this work into a final resolution to present the next day at Copenhagen Fashion Summit.
Something to take away…
Harvard principles for open and honest negotiation…
People – treat people and problems separately
Interests – put interests at the centre of discussion rather than positions
Options – before deciding on solution develop a range of options
Criteria – build result on objective decision making principles