2015 was, by many accounts, a tumultuous year in fashion, marked by high-profile changes at the helm of major brands and the tightening grip of luxury conglomerates both on- and offline. Some pundits predict an impending industry-wide crisis brought about by the ever-faster fashion model. As The Independent’s Alexander Fury points out, “’Fast fashion’ is no longer a niche of product, but an attitude affecting the industry at every level.”
In the area of sustainability, 2015 was the year that put the spotlight on the $3 trillion global industry’s environmental and social impacts – from the acclaimed The True Cost movie to the first-ever Environmental Profit & Loss Account produced by Kering.
It was also the year when the fashion industry has seemingly begun to take interest in UN processes such as the Sustainable Development Goals, and particularly Goal 12 on sustainable consumption and production, as well as the Paris Climate Conference, known as COP21. In conjunction with the latter, VOGUE ran profiles of women-climate warriors on its website.
Translating these lofty goals into practice will nonetheless require a major step change – both on the part of the industry and the consumers. And here is where we as sustainable fashionistas can step in. Fashion Revolution has emerged as a global, can-do, positive campaign that demands transparency and action from the industry using the power of social media. I was honoured to be invited to get involved in the 2016 Fashion Revolution Day (April 24) in Switzerland and will start a series of sustainable fashion tips later this month on Twitter and Instagram. Make sure to follow @Fash_RevSuisse and use the #FashRev hashtag!
Another area that I will focus my attention on this year is how the increasingly globalized fashion industry is governed, and what mechanisms can promote sustainability at the international level. I have recently contributed an article for a forthcoming publication by Springer on this very subject, so watch this space…
Overall, I am greatly looking forward to 2016 and to further exploring the fascinating universe of fashion. And I hope you, my wonderful green stilettos readers, will continue to enjoy the ride.
Thank you and have a great year ahead!