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April 21, 2022

Manifesto to put fashion on more regenerative path

A new manifesto has been launched by the Prince of Wales’ Sustainable Markets Initiative Fashion Task Force to drive a progressive shift towards regenerative fashion, starting with a EUR1m (US$1.09m) investment programme in the Himalayas to restore wildlife and sustainable farming.

By Beth Wright

The Sustainable Markets Initiative (SMI) Fashion Task Force, chaired by entrepreneur and Yoox Net-A-Porter founder Federico Marchetti, has announced its new Regenerative Fashion Manifesto which has been developed in partnership with the Circular Bioeconomy Alliance (CBA) led by scientist Marc Palahi.

In signing the Manifesto, Task Force members are committing their brands to a progressive shift towards regenerative fashion — a circular bio-based industry that is inclusive, climate, and naturepositive, using newly created or restored regenerative landscapes as the basis for circular bioeconomy value chains.

In particular, brands commit to:

  • Protect nature and biodiversity within and beyond the brands’ value chains.
  • Promote circular bioeconomy supply chains and regenerative landscapes and practices.
  • Engage local and indigenous communities to ensure that their rights are respected, and that they are involved in the design and benefits derived from regenerative landscapes and value chains.

In addition to Marchetti, members of the Fashion Task Force include Burberry and Stella McCartney CEOs Jonathan Akeroyd and Gabriele Maggio, and co-CEO of Zalando, David Schneider.

Manifesto project: The Himalayan Regenerative Fashion Living Lab

The Himalayan Regenerative Fashion Living Lab is the first project developed according to the principles and ambitions of the new Manifesto. The project seeks to demonstrate the potential of regenerative fashion to restore harmony between local communities, nature, and the environment, while creating sustainable fashion value chains.

The Himalayan initiative is a EUR1m project that will restore degraded landscapes and recover traditional textile craft skills in order to enhance the local cashmere, cotton and silk economies while addressing global challenges related to climate change and biodiversity loss.

Work on the project will begin next month with help on the ground from ReforestAction and the Balipara Foundation.

“The Regenerative Fashion Manifesto is another concrete step towards creating a much more sustainable fashion industry. It is not simply empty words, the manifesto comes with a concrete EUR1m project for the degraded landscapes of the Himalayas attached. This project will serve as a blue-print for what can be done to shift the fashion industry towards a more equitable, nature positive future,” Marchetti says.

The Regenerative Fashion Manifesto is the second significant action taken by the Fashion Task Force and follows the successful launch of a Digital ID system in October of last year — a transformational technology that uses data to inform customers of the sustainability credentials of their clothing purchases and to facilitate the delivery of circularity at scale.

The principles of Digital ID format are now being recommended by the EU Commission, which aims to introduce Digital Product Passports, which will require mandatory disclosure of circularity and environmental elements in textiles manufacture.

Click here to download the Manifesto in full.

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