In line with the 2024 theme of the Global Fashion Summit, ‘Unlocking the Next Level’, this year’s Fashion CEO Agenda outlines five key opportunities for fashion executives and the industry to “unlock transformative impact” for people and the planet:

  • operationalising sustainability
  • redefining growth
  • activating consumers
  • prioritising people
  • mobilising based on materiality

Drawing from the five priorities of the Fashion CEO Agenda – respectful and secure work environments, better wage systems, resource stewardship, smart material choices and circular systems – this special edition highlights five cross-cutting opportunities that will help achieve the next level of progress on these priorities.

According to Federica Marchionni, CEO of Global Fashion Agenda, this agenda challenges established norms, amplifies existing efforts and serves as a crucial inflection point for the industry’s collective impact on both people and the planet.

She commented: “The Fashion CEO Agenda 2024 aims to help leaders to shift their mindset, providing clear unlocks for embracing the challenges for future proofing their businesses and operations. I urgently encourage leaders to work closely with cross-functional teams, use empathy, and a values-based approach that prioritises the planet and the well-being of the people. By doing so, we secure the foundation of our businesses and deliver not only financial returns but also positive impact on the world around us.”

Since its inception, GFA believes sustainability has evolved from a “peripheral concern to a central focus” in the fashion business landscape, prompting significant strides across the industry.

Despite this progress, it pointed out the alarming escalation of global warming and exponential rise in clothing production demand urgent and collective action from fashion industry leaders.

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GFA further noted that unlocking the next level of positive impact necessitates a comprehensive understanding of interdependencies and system-wide solutions.

Sustainability still weighs highly for the fashion sector

GlobalData’s apparel company filings data revealed that sustainability is still a dominant theme in the apparel sector. The keyword continues to weigh highly from May 2023 until 2024 with a total of 2,730 mentions this year.

Source: GlobalData

The continued focus on sustainability is also illustrated through the industry’s efforts, such as digital wholesale platform Joor’s “Sustainability in Focus” show which will present brands around the world that are invested and committed to supporting sustainability through materials, manufacturing, packaging, circularity and fair trade and labour practices.

Moreover, the CEO of the social enterprise CottonConnect is urging fashion brands to focus on regenerative agriculture combined with traceability and accountability to secure a more sustainable future for the industry.