Advisory: New report to give fashion brands a roadmap to ditch fossil fuels in the supply chain

Advisory: New report to give fashion brands a roadmap to ditch fossil fuels in the supply chain

Thursday August 13, 2020

Stand.earth to publish guide with steps the industry must take to tackle climate pollution as it recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic

SAN FRANCISCO — As the fashion industry begins the long road to recovery from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new report that will be released at 3 a.m. PDT / 6 a.m. EDT / 11 a.m. BST on Thursday, August 20 by international environmental organization Stand.earth aims to provide brands with an extensive guide to tackle the climate pollution in their supply chains.

The report, titled “Fashion forward: A roadmap to fossil-free fashion” outlines the steps the industry must take to get a handle on its rapidly growing carbon footprint, through a combination of renewable energy, better materials, and greener shipping.

WHO: International environmental organization Stand.earth, which previously released its Filthy Fashion Climate Scorecard in October 2019 ranking the sustainability commitments of 45 top fashion companies

WHAT: The organization will release its latest report, titled “Fashion forward: A roadmap to fossil-free fashion,” which aims to provide brands with an extensive guide to tackle the climate pollution in their supply chains by outlining the steps the industry must take, through a combination of renewable energy, better materials, and greener shipping.

  • The report will outline 5 steps fashion brands must take to get a handle on their rapidly growing climate footprints, including: setting ambitious climate commitments with full transparency in the tracking of emissions; centering renewable energy in supply chain decisions with specific commitments to phase out coal; advocating for renewable energy policies in countries where supply chains are located; sourcing lower carbon and longer lasting materials; and reducing the climate impacts of how clothing is shipped around the world.
  • The report will also address several “wrong turns” the fashion industry should avoid, encouraging brands to avoid the following: pursuing greenwashing initiatives like renewable energy credits and carbon offsets; supporting false “clean” energy transitions from coal to fracked gas or coal to biomass; increasing the amount of materials sourced from fossil fuels like fracked gas (polyester) and coal; and relying on false “clean” shipping proposals such as scrubbers & LNG.

WHEN: Thursday, August 20, at 3 a.m. PDT (San Francisco) / 6 a.m. EDT (New York) / 11 a.m. BST (London) 

WHERE: The report will be published online at https://www.stand.earth/publications.

WHY: The fashion industry is one of the largest contributors to global warming. The industry’s greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) are estimated to be between 5-10% of global GHGs — exceeding both the aviation and shipping sectors — with projections of 30% growth in emissions by 2030. 

Toward the end of 2019, climate change finally emerged as a top-level issue for the industry, with global brands making a range of commitments to tackle their rapidly rising climate footprint. But despite high-profile commitments, most brands have not yet taken significant steps to begin reducing their carbon footprint, or to begin eliminating their reliance on fossil fuels in supply chains, particularly coal. With scientists warning that global emissions must be cut in half by 2030, along with a rapid phase out of coal, it is increasingly critical that 2020 become the year that major apparel brands turn broad commitments into action.

Since early 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a disproportionate economic impact on a number of sectors, including fashion. The pandemic triggered a dramatic economic pause, with a significant drop in emissions expected for 2020 as a result. Despite this temporary reduction in emissions, the question of whether global fashion brands will turn their climate commitments into action has become even larger as a result of the pandemic. 

Many brands are finding that as a result of the pandemic, customers are interested in consuming less, and are placing a greater value on environmental and social responsibility. For brands seeking to reconnect to their customers as the industry recovers from the pandemic, the ability for brands to demonstrate they are taking action to address climate change must become a critical part of their COVID-19 recovery strategy.  

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Media contact: Virginia Cleaveland, Communications Manager, Stand.earth, media@stand.earth, +1 510 858 9902 (PDT, GMT-7)