CSR: Moving towards sustainable, desirable fashion

Degrading working conditions, climate change, water pollution – in recent years fashion professionals have been the target of sharp criticism to the point of naming fashion as the world’s second most polluting industry. This claim has since been strongly contested, but French fashion players cannot ignore the enormous social and environmental issues that are part of our sector’s growth.

At the same time that sustainable fashion is taking off, a group of leading international professionals and entrepreneurs with strong principles are trying to solve the dilemmas that everyone will soon face. These are: satisfying business imperatives while avoiding the pitfalls of throw-away fashion; assuring sustainable growth in a sector with over 60 million employees globally and that consumes an increasing amount of non-renewable resources; and finally, creating long-term commitment from consumers who, though aware of the stakes, don’t seem to want to give up any pleasure.

Three years ago I made corporate social responsibility one of our top priorities. As President of the Fédération, I and other French and international industry and organisation leaders signed the United Nations Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action. I also joined the Paris Good Fashion association sponsored by the Paris City Hall.

To encourage everyone to get involved, the Fédération has published* the sustainable supply guide. Supply chains are a concentration of the most important social and environmental issues that fashion professionals face. The Guide will be presented in several conferences across France and is available here. It states our convictions and shares the key steps each one can take, no matter how big or small a business or what the field of activity. Its goal is to engage the fashion industry and to contribute to the creation of a renewed sector.

There are no more excuses for not getting involved.

Let’s get to work!

Pierre-François Le Louët

*with support from DEFI