News & Runway

Stella McCartney and Other Major Fashion Brands Join UN’s Climate Change Initiative

Stella McCartney in her Spring-Summer 2019 Fashion Show

Stella McCartney in her Spring-Summer 2019 Fashion Show; Image: Imaxtree

The fashion industry has a significant negative effect on the global environment, including contributing 1.26 billion tons of greenhouse gases annually, amongst other environmental impacts. Hoping to end this year on a positive note, 40 fashion brands and supplier organizations across the globe are participating in a Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action as part of the U.N.’s initiative to better understand and reduce climate change.

Designer Stella McCartney, who has always considered sustainability in fashion a priority, is one of the key signatories of the movement. Other brands joining McCartney are the Kering Group, Burberry, Hugo Boss, H&M Group, Inditex (owner of Zara and Bershka), Guess, Puma, Gap Inc., Salomon and Peak Performance. 

“Climate change is undoubtedly one of, if not the biggest, challenges of our lifetime,” McCartney said in a press release. “I want to call on my peers in the business — from other brands to retailers and suppliers — to sign up to this charter now and take the necessary actions to address the reality of the issue of climate change in their business and value chains. Collectively we have a voice and the capacity to make a difference.”

The charter follows the objectives in the Paris Agreement in 2015, including the goal to cut down greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2030. Participating brands are also expected to phase out all sources of coal-fired heat and create long-term goals toward sustainability. The charter calls for transparency, including progress reports every five years. 

This year has seen a number of fashion and beauty brands take steps toward becoming more environmentally friendly and sustainable. In October, Burberry, H&M and 290 other global organizations signed a commitment to reduce plastic pollutionEverlane used recycled plastic in its newest collection and Adidas has been collaborating for years with Parley to use plastics from our oceans in the production of its shoes. CoverGirl became the largest beauty brand to go cruelty-freeChanel banned the use of exotic skins and many designers banned the use of fur. Hopefully, we will see more companies make strides toward sustainability in 2019.