Cop26: Fashion industry takeaways from this years climate conference

Cop26, the international climate change conference, recently began in Glasgow, Scotland. You may be wondering what challenges faced by the fashion industry were discussed, let us tell you some of the key topics covered. The conference aims to push corporations and companies to meet science based targets, in fashion and beyond. One huge focus of the event was emissions - with over 40 countries committing to stop the use of coal. Deforestation was also of big importance!

Beyond countries, some huge corporations such as the parent company of UGG (Deckers brands) announced a partnership with globally recognised SBTi which is the Science Based Targets initiative. This initiative aims to reduce emissions. The commitment means “55% less carbon per product” and “net-zero emissions by or before 2050”. There was also a letter written by many organisations to world leaders aiming to highlight climate issues in the fashion industry.

Along with the net-zero emissions, there has been a clear call for collective action towards climate issues. Highlighting issues such as waste elimination, business responsibility and issues within global supply chains.

Tamara Cincik, CEO of Fashion Roundtable, said: “COP26 is a fantastic opportunity to remind the world’s leaders, not only of the importance that the fashion industry plays in the global economy, but also that many of us are united in seeking new ways of doing business, which place people and planet first.” There was also discussion of education for retailers and consumers alike. Knowing how to shop more responsibly and sustainably, and becoming more aware of climate issues being key focuses of educating shoppers.

Many leaders within the fashion industry brought important messages to this global platform. Showing the importance of these issues and allowing minds to collaborate on how we can move forward. Along with the discussions, there was a collection by Stella McCartney displayed named ‘Future of Fashion’ which was shown at the Kelvingrove art gallery. All the pieces were made using next-generation materials. Some key pieces were the world's first vegan football boots in collaboration with Paul Pogba, and pieces made by mycelium to look like leather and recycled ocean plastics.

Throughout the plethora of commitments made, lower emissions, more education and business responsibility being key focuses, we can see that there is an effort being made to make a difference when it comes to climate issues in fashion. The event brought change, as well as more awareness towards fashion pollution and where we need to work to improve the process in future.