As mentioned in a previous article: the fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries in the world. Therefore, it was high time to consider the impact of this sector on the need for sustainability in our present society, essential for the future of not only the planet but also the fashion industry in general, and its companies in particular, since no company can be sustainable in a world where ecological collapse is intensifying. Thus, the idea of solidarity and cooperation has become prevalent in order to bring about a radical and systemic change in the performance of these companies in terms of sustainable development, which is necessary to raise consumer awareness, hence, to protect the planet.

The Fashion Pact is a global coalition led by business leaders currently representing one third of the industry, with more than sixty signatories and two hundred fashion and textile companies -lifestyle, luxury, ready-to-wear and sportwear- made up of competitors, established and emerging brands, high-end labels, retail chains; as well as suppliers and distributors, committed to a common goal related to the major environmental objectives of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. These objectives are centered on three themes of sustainable development —environmental urgency— and led by priority actions: stopping global warming by implementing Science Based Targets (SBTs) on Climate to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, particularly by using 100% renewable energy in all of the sector's business areas and manufacturing processes by 2030 and by implementing the United Nations Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action; the restoration of biodiversity by also implementing SBTs on nature such as supporting zero deforestation and developing sustainable forest management plans; and the protection of the oceans by reducing the fashion industry's negative impact on the ocean environment, particularly through the elimination of plastic packaging and ensuring that such packaging is made of 100% recycled materials by 2030. The Fashion Pact was presented to heads of state on August 26, 2019 at the G7 Summit in Biarritz, by Chairman and CEO of Kering and Co-Chair of the Fashion Pact Steering Committee François-Henri PINAULT, who was entrusted with this project of common commitments by the President of the French Republic, Emmanuel MACRON.

2020 has been a year of renewal, following the COVID-19 pandemic which highlighted the need for the fashion industry to move towards a more resilient and sustainable fashion. Companies, in order to maintain themselves economically and meet the objectives of the Fashion Pact, have had to take on new responsibilities and successfully work together. Only a global collective action such as the Fashion Pact coalition can stop or at least significantly reduce the negative environmental impacts of the fashion industry. In the words of President of Prada Carlo MAZZI: « The beneficiaries are therefore all living beings and the planet itself, with maximum benefits to each. » It is essential to make tough decisions quickly to ensure that progress is made.

One year after the implementation of the Fashion Pact, the first significant steps towards sustainable fashion are tangible. In addition to governance, objectives and key performance indicators are established through concrete and transparent actions.
First of all, with regard to climate, 40 to 45% of the energy used by Fashion Pact members comes from renewable sources; this change can be seen in the implementation of individual actions that have enabled the reduction of 350,000 to 400,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions (CO2 equivalent) in scopes 1 and 2.
Secondly, regarding to biodiversity, the Fashion Pact has enabled the fashion industry to make a global commitment. Indeed, the signatories support the development of SBTs on nature and collectively commit to taking measures to extend their commitment to biodiversity in order to considerably reduce their impact on it, in particular by tackling deforestation and protecting threatened animal species.
Finally, with regard to oceans, 70% of the signatories have reduced the use of harmful plastic packaging, especially single-use packaging, and have implemented actions to promote sustainable alternatives to this packaging.

In that respect, multi-sector collaboration is the cornerstone of the Fashion Pact, since collective action has more impact than individual action. This is what Kasper RØRSTED, Chief executive of Adidas, points out when he says that this is the reason why in a team sport « you achieve much better results. » Through the collaboration between signatories with different economic profiles —both Maison and brands— and external experts —research, science, conservation, strategy, merchandising, reporting— the discovery and respect of good practices and innovative solutions are harmonized and allow for an important improvement within companies. However, not all brands are on equal terms, as the fashion industry can be divided into two categories: on the one hand, those that need to adopt a stronger sustainability foundation and, on the other hand, those that need to improve that foundation. In an effort to break down this divide, the Fashion Pact signatories have put in place mechanisms that allow larger brands to adapt the improvements made by innovative small and medium-sized brands to their level, and allow companies with fewer resources to align themselves by incorporating the knowledge and experience of companies that have proved their worth in sustainability matter. Collaboration, like collective coordination, is therefore a boon for companies in the fashion industry to achieve their goals.

The actual successes achieved in one year are proof that working together can have a positive impact on the world and not only in the fashion sector; other goods and consumer industries can be inspired by this initiative for continuous improvement and substantial and sustainable protection of the planet. The undoubted influence of the fashion industry worldwide can create a virtuous « snowball effect » for environmental protection at both corporate and individual levels.