Leading NGOs Unite as the FASHION CONVENERS to Accelerate Sustainable Transformation of the Apparel and Accessory Industry

Three models walking in a fashion show
August 31, 2020

 

SAN FRANCISCO — August 31, 2020  — The industry’s leading subject matter experts have united as the Fashion Conveners. Spurred by the vulnerabilities the global pandemic brought forward, the group recognizes the urgency to accelerate the transformational changes needed to reduce the environmental and social impacts across fashion.

 

The Fashion Conveners will function as a global coalition, working individually and collectively to accelerate action through high-level partnerships, developing strategies and initiatives across the various sub-sectors of industry.

 

Contributing nearly 3% of the global GDP, fashion’s long-term success is wholly dependent on a healthy planet and people, the security of natural resources, and the safety, health, and prosperity of its workforce and their communities. COVID-19 only further exposed the fragility of our industry’s value chain, yet also served as evidence of the power of environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices into action – a veritable proof of concept demonstrating that a more sustainable industry is a more resilient industry, capable of healing the planet and better supporting its people.

 

Collectively recognizing the importance of setting an ambitious vision to drive change and action, the Fashion Conveners work to support common organizational agendas, avoid duplicative efforts, and holistically drive the industry’s progress along a journey of continuous and rapid improvement. While maintaining individual goals and independence, the organizations are aligning on key metrics, frameworks, performance standards, and their support for the delivery of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

 

Leveraging shared knowledge, skills, data, research, and networks, the Fashion Conveners are focused on harnessing the power of the group’s subject matter expertise, creativity, innovation, and economies of scale to catalyze action with companies, brands, and strategic partners, provide resources, support each other’s policy efforts, and accelerate the industry’s adoption of more sustainable and ultimately regenerative practices.

 

For more information, visit fashionconveners.org or contact Maggie Kervick at MKervick1@fordham.edu

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

When and why have you decided to collaborate in this way?
For some time now a number of the organizations represented in the Fashion Conveners have already been sharing information, ideas and even working together on joint projects. The idea of the Fashion Conveners is to formalize this invaluable network of leading organizations to better leverage capabilities and identify opportunities to accelerate our collective and individual work.

 

What are the main goals of the Fashion Conveners?
The Fashion Conveners work together to reduce redundancy and fragmentation to make it easier for actors across the value chain to accelerate the adoption of more sustainable practices leveraging our network to accelerate the changes our industry needs to ensure an inclusive sustainable future for all.

 

What is the added value of this collaboration in participating for each organization?
Being part of the network enables the participating organizations to better leverage collective knowledge, skills and capabilities to accelerate the individual work of each organization, whilst identifying opportunities to reduce duplicative effort and capitalize on collective action.

 

Will there be any formal changes for existing members, or partners, of each organization?
There are no planned or foreseen changes for existing members, or partners for each organization in relation specifically to the work of the Fashion Conveners.

 

Will there be cost savings for existing members, or partners, of each organization?
There are no immediate cost savings identified, although it is the intent and expectation of the Conveners that by identifying and working on opportunities to reduce duplication of efforts, there will be material benefits for all actors within the industry.

 

What is the added value of this collaboration for existing members, or partners, of each organization?
Being part of the network enables the participating organizations to better leverage collective knowledge, skills and capabilities to accelerate the individual work of each organization, whilst identifying opportunities to reduce duplicative effort and capitalize on collective action.

 

Will this result in any formal agreements, partnerships, or mergers?
Any bilateral, or multilateral agreements or partnerships, following on from discussions of the Conveners, will be undertaken solely by the individual organizations involved and will not be the responsibility of the Conveners.

 

How is the Fashion Conveners funded?
The Fashion Conveners follows a low-cost, light touch model for collaboration, with general management and operational expenses being funded by a small administrative fee provided equally by each convening organization.

 

Is there a governance structure for the Fashion Conveners? / What is the governance model for the Fashion Conveners?
The Fashion Conveners was conceived as a collaborative space for leading sustainability organizations working with the fashion industry to share and align their work. Since the core focus is information sharing and bilateral alignment on specific areas of direct overlap between organizations, there is not yet any formal governance in place, and all decisions are made by consensus. Longer term if the functions of the Conveners expands, a more formal governance structure may be put into place.

 

Where can I find out more about the Fashion Conveners (work)?
Please visit our website at www.fashionconveners.org

 

Are there any concrete actions or initiatives planned by the Fashion Conveners?
The core primary action being undertaken by the Conveners at this stage is to work on how to better facilitate the leveraging of collective knowledge, skills and capabilities to accelerate the individual work of each organization, whilst identifying opportunities to reduce duplicative effort and capitalize on collective action. As such opportunities are identified they will be communicated either by the Conveners or by the individual organizations engaging in collaborative activities.

 

Can other organizations join the Fashion Conveners?
Industry groups and organizations with aligned goals, and commitments to the Conveners goals and way of working are welcome to inquire about joining. A set of criteria for joining is in the process of being developed.

 

What is the process for joining?
For further information on engaging with the Fashion Conveners please contact: Maggie Kervick at mkervick1@fordham.edu

 

How can my organization support the work of the Fashion Conveners?
For further information on engaging with the Fashion Conveners please contact: Maggie Kervick at mkervick1@fordham.edu

 

What kind of resources will be provided?
To begin with a website has been created including members profiles, industry events and a resources section which will include a summary of each organization’s core activities and value offerings. Further resources will be identified and made available as appropriate.

 

How will the work of the Fashion Conveners inform policy?
While many of the partner organizations that form the Fashion Conveners work to guide, develop, and draft policy, the coalition itself does not intend to do so collectively at this time. Rather, partner organizations will have the benefit of the expertise and support of the group to further their individual prospects.

 

Will the Fashion Conveners be focusing on any specific United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SGD). If so, which ones?
The Fashion Conveners have not at this stage identified specific UN SDGs, though it is envisaged that the alignment on industry metrics, frameworks, performance standards will have a direct impact on the delivery of the UN SDGs. Further updates and details will be made available as the network develops its cooperation.

 

As a member of one of the organizations can you confirm what data and information will be shared and leveraged?
The Fashion Conveners will only be sharing data and information which is publicly available, or which has been aggregated to ensure anonymity. All relevant and applicable data protection laws will be strictly adhered to.

 

What key metrics, frameworks, performance standards are the Fashion Conveners aligning?
As part of the ongoing collaboration of the Fashion Conveners a number of key metrics, frameworks, and performance standards will be identified for the Convening organizations to work on , these will be focused on global industry standards, specifically looking to find opportunities to reduce duplication around topics covering, core climate challenges, protection and respect for people, circular and regenerative systems. Further specific information will be provided as this work develops.

 

— ENDS —

 

About the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC)

The Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) is an industry-wide group of more than 250 leading apparel, footwear and textile, brands, retailers, suppliers, service providers, trade associations, nonprofits, NGOs and academic institutions working to promote social justice throughout the global value chain and reduce the environmental impacts of products. Through multi-stakeholder engagement, the SAC seeks to lead the industry toward a shared vision of sustainability built upon a common approach for measuring and evaluating apparel, footwear and textile sustainability performance that spotlights priorities for action and opportunities for technological innovation. The SAC was incorporated as a 501(c)6 nonprofit organization and launched the groundbreaking Higg Index suite of tools in 2011. In May 2019, the SAC spun-off the Higg Index technology platform to the newly formed Higg Co. For more information, visit www.apparelcoalition.org.

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