What does COP27 have to do with Fashion?
From November 6th through the 18th, leaders, academics, activists, and grassroots organizations will travel to Sharm El-Sheik, Egypt to discuss climate change as part of the 27th Conference of Parties, or COP. Each year since 1995 (except for 2020 due to COVID), COP has been held in a different city around the world as part of the United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). During the conferences, representatives from 198 countries convene to strategize a way forward that reduces the critical impacts of climate change and supports our global ability to adapt to a changing world.
If you’re thinking “ok, so what does a political conference have to do fashion?” you’re not alone. For years, fashion industry representatives were left out of these events because fashion was not considered “serious enough” (yeah, we know). However, as more and more members of the fashion industry spoke up, the international community realized that fashion–like any other industry–holds a key role in climate change response. Today, clothes production and distribution accounts for 10% of global CO2 emissions, and every year the fashion industry uses enough water to hydrate five million people (talk about thirst traps).
It’s clear that the fashion industry needs to change, and COP27 is a great place to start. During COP27, attendees will have the opportunity to plan policies and initiatives that protect our planet by ensuring that clothes manufacturers are held to standards that ensure sustainability and reduce their carbon footprint. Here are some topics that we will be following during COP27.
Fast fashion plagiarism | Creator: Camille Ong
We hear it all the time: “don’t shop fast fashion!” And, there’s a reason for that. Not only does fast fashion reward the plagiarism of creatives, but it also encourages extreme waste and egregious human rights abuses.
Coming out of COP27, we want to see policies that limit the impact of fast fashion and support the work of designers like Lekuna Lifestlye who strives for sustainability in her products.
We are living in a technological world, so shouldn’t our approach to sustainable fashion include innovative technology as well? We are looking forward to hearing more conversations promoting the use of blockchain, novel fabrics, and artificial intelligence to revolutionize our global approach to garment manufacturing and sales.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!
It’s been drilled into us our whole lives–repurposing and recycling are the most earth-conscious actions we can take in our world of overconsumption and waste. But why aren’t clothing manufacturers and distributors held to the same standards?
During COP27 we hope to see conversations that encourage the creation of policies and programs that support designers like Eclipse Glove, who feature recycled fabrics in their circular fashion model, and BOLD Swim, who uses high quality yet biodegradable fabrics in their swimwear.
This year, we will be all ears during COP27, excited to see the conversations that come out of the conference. It is a great sign that the fashion industry has been included in the discussions–there’s even going to be a Global Fashion Agenda webcast. Let’s continue working together to make conscious fashion decisions that positively impact our world.