Digital fashion solution company Style 3D hosted a webinar where panellists shared their insights on the industry’s expectations from this year’s United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) and the crucial role it plays in shifting from discussion to action.
The webinar posed the question ‘what does the fashion industry hope to achieve from COP28 this year?’
Gary Knox, the host and vice chair of the Association of Suppliers to the British Clothing Industry (ASBCI) expressed the importance of ensuring fashion brands participate in conferences like COP28.
He emphasised the need for fashion brands to gather consumer feedback through research, purchasing decisions, and product adoption. According to Knox, the challenge lies in transforming words into actionable steps and ensuring the industry addresses what consumers are asking for during such global events.
Knox who noted he is not directly affiliated with the fashion sector but involved in aftercare, brought attention to the diverse agendas of COP28 and stressed the significance of brands participating sensibly to provide valuable feedback to agencies.
The focus, Knox said, should be on making sure the industry’s concerns are communicated effectively and result in concrete actions.
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Knox’s perspective was complemented by Joseph Mountain, the sustainability lead at UK online retailer N Brown, who highlighted the need for the fashion industry to move beyond exploration and understanding of what the future looks like in terms of sustainability.
Mountain said the time has come for actionable steps and implementations and pointed out that systems like Style 3D could greatly benefit from this shift toward action. He urged businesses to identify adaptable and impactful measures to reduce their environmental footprint.
The conversation also touched upon the challenges of consumption, described as the “elephant in the room”.
Mountain explained the importance of understanding what aspects of the industry should be grown and what should be scaled back. This includes a thoughtful evaluation of areas that are both impactful and sustainable for long-term growth.
The experts agreed COP28 should serve as a catalyst for turning discussions into actionable steps with a focus on understanding and responding to what consumers want for a more sustainable and responsible fashion industry.
While bold pledges have been made to cut carbon emissions and shift to next-gen materials, research shows there is a 75% gap in fashion players onboarding their suppliers with their green ambitions, which could hinder the apparel sector hitting the 1.5°C target.