Open letter urging Kiwis to encourage fashion companies to align with the UN Fashion Charter
The fashion industry’s contribution to the climate crisis has been widely reported on and many of us are actively seeking to change the way we shop, care for, and pass on our clothes. It’s a fact that the fashion industry generates more carbon emissions than international flights and shipping combined.
That’s why Tearfund and Oxfam Aotearoa are calling on Kiwi fashion companies to make emissions reduction targets in line with the UN Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action - and we’re asking you to join us! Reach out to your favourite fashion companies and ask if they will play their part and align with the UN Fashion Charter.
As you read this, over 45,000 people are gathered in Egypt for the 27th United Nations Climate Change conference (“COP27”). These individuals - representing governments, businesses, and members of scientific and indigenous communities - are negotiating how the global community will ensure the Paris Agreement is met. The Paris Agreement came out of COP21 and is the legally binding international treaty on climate change. It has the central goal of limiting our global temperature increase to 2°C, and preferably to only 1.5°C.
At COP24 in Poland, members of the fashion industry came together to create the UN Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action (“the Charter”), a roadmap to guide the fashion industry to ensure they’re also in line with this goal. And last year at COP26 in Scotland this Charter was updated, becoming more ambitious in ensuring this goal is actually met.
Today, the Charter has two central commitments: fashion companies commit to cutting in half their (and their supply chain’s) greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, and having net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 at the latest. Net-zero means the amount of greenhouse gases being released into the atmosphere is balanced by the same amount being removed.
Unfortunately, Tearfund’s latest research into the fashion industry through the Ethical Fashion Report revealed that only 18 of 120 companies assessed had published commitments in line with the Charter. It’s been estimated that if the fashion industry continues on its current trajectory, it will contribute more than double the amount of emissions it can afford to, to remain in line with the Paris Agreement.
Whilst world leaders and climate activists gather for COP27 in Egypt, we’re asking Kiwi fashion companies who have not yet made emission reduction commitments in line with the Charter, to do so by the end of 2022. Public commitments and reporting can help organisations, members of the fashion industry, and us as wearers-of-clothes, to hold companies accountable and also celebrate the steps they are taking.
Addressing the climate crisis will require ambitious action from thousands of companies, regardless of their size or geography, right across the supply chains - even down here in little old New Zealand. Click here to see which fashion companies globally have already signed the Charter and set emissions reduction targets.
We are encouraging you, our supporters, to join us by sharing our social media post with your favourite fashion companies or ask them directly, “will you play your part and align with the UN Fashion Charter?”.
Tearfund and Oxfam Aotearoa