Global Fashion Leaders and their Sustainable Pledges for 2017
“The small steps cost us little in the way of effort, money or time, but the cumulative effects can be enormous” – David Suzuki, Canadian academic, science broadcaster and environmental activist.
Living sustainably is about choices. Some small (paper or plastic) and some larger and more complex (vegan, car-free, zero-waste). This year we gathered ten renowned change makers in ethical fashion to share their pledges and how they will make their life more sustainable in 2017. Although the responses were as varied as the Global Fashion Leaders they came from, we hope they will inspire you to make your own sustainable pledge. Participating in #my2017pledge are (from left to right): Mara Hoffman (New York), Simone Cipriani (Geneva), Eva Kruse (Copenhagen), Andrew Morgan (LA), Elin Larsson (Stockholm), Max Gilgenmann (Berlin), Adria Vasil (Toronto), Patrick Duffy (London/New York), Isabelle Quéhé (Paris), Kate Black (New York).
CFDA fashion designer Mara Hoffman didn’t start her company based on principles of sustainability. For a long time, by her own admission, she didn’t fully understand the impact the industry was making on the world. But she started tuning in, learning, and realised “once you see, you can’t un-see”. The more the company grew, the more aware it became. That was the motivation for instigating change. And there’s no going back.
- Mara’s pledge: Wear more, wash less; matching our sourcing and manufacturing commitment to reduce water and wastage.
Simone Cipriani created and manages the Ethical Fashion Initiative of the International Trade Centre (ITC), which is a joint agency of the United Nations and the WTO. The Ethical Fashion Initiative harnesses the power of fashion as a vehicle out of poverty by connecting top designers, including Vivienne Westwood and Stella McCartney, to marginalized artisans in East Africa, West Africa and Haiti.
- Simone’s pledge: I will plant 8 trees, one for each the EFI has been running for, in my place in Tuscany.
Eva Kruse is the president and CEO of Global Fashion Agenda and Copenhagen Fashion Summit, the world’s most important event on sustainability in fashion. She reminds us,
The three trillion-dollar fashion industry is one of the most resource and labour intensive industries in the world, emphasising the need for a unified effort to increase the sustainability of our industry across categories, borders and size of businesses. Hence achieving significant impact calls for a joint commitment on addressing the most critical issues that face our industry and planet.
- Eva’s pledge: Recycle my clothes – clothes can become new clothes by recycling, re-using and up-cycling the fibres and help save production of virgin fibres.
Internationally acclaimed film director and owner of digital creative agency UnTold LA, Andrew Morgan become a leading voice in the sustainable fashion movement after his film The True Cost was released in 2015. His experience includes a broad range of work that spans narrative and documentary storytelling for multiple film and new media projects that have been filmed in more than 25 countries around the world.
- Andrew’s pledge: I am going to ditch my car and bike to work here in LA.
Elin Larsson has been the Sustainability Director at Filippa K since 2011. But she’s been with Filippa K since 1996 in a vast range of roles, so the responsible ethos of the stylish brand runs deep for her. Having experience in logistics and supply chain management, sales, and project management gives her unique insight into how business functions will need to go from disconnected to connected in a circular economy. She’s currently working on strategies to demonstrate that environmental and commercial sustainability can comfortably coexist. She shares,
At Filippa K we promote a mindset of a Curated Wardrobe. A wardrobe that is simple rather than excessive, one that you care for and cherish and can be updated in new more sustainable ways. We encourage our customers to a smaller, smarter and more selective wardrobe where the clothes are versatile, of high quality and with a long lasting design. But what does that mean in reality and what does it take to walk the talk? That is what I will try out for one year.
- Elin’s pledge: Only have 40 pieces of clothing in my wardrobe for one year. If I buy something new (or old) I must sell or give something else away, buy second hand or rent or borrow clothes as much as possible.