Nonprofit organisation Apparel Impact Institute (Aii), which focuses on mobilising climate action in fashion has welcomed the PVH Foundation as a new lead funder of the Fashion Climate Fund. Aii believes this will advance the fund’s aim to drive industry-wide convergence to modernise the fashion industry supply chain and meet the wider sector’s ambition of halving carbon emissions by the end of this decade.
PVH Foundation on behalf of PVH Corp, which owns fashion brands Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein; joins Lululemon, H&M Group, H&M Foundation, and The Schmidt Family Foundation as a lead funder, with each committing $10m.
This investment is said to underscore PVH Corp’s trust in Aii as a critical partner and intellectual clearinghouse that will help reach the fashion industry’s 2030 climate goals.
Citing data from its Roadmap to Net Zero: Delivering Science Based Targets in the Apparel Sector report, Aii says 96% of the fashion industry’s emissions come from third-party farms and factories that are shared across the industry and deemed too risky for brands, retailers, or traditional sources of capital to make necessary upgrades and overhauls.
The Fashion Climate Fund is described as the first of its kind and is strategically designed to leverage industry treasury and philanthropic funds to execute foundational supply chain improvements.
These improvements include transitioning to renewable electricity, improving energy efficiency, eliminating coal in manufacturing, scaling sustainable materials and practices, and accelerating next-generation materials. It is also hoped the work will derisk investment opportunities, allowing the industry to engage larger financial institutions to unlock an estimated $2bn in additional asset classes, including debt and equity.
Aii president Lewis Perkins says: “The leadership shown by PVH Corp, a long-time partner to Aii, represents a big step forward in our work to tackle fashion’s supply chain emissions. The PVH Foundation is helping to fuel the Fashion Climate Fund’s unique grant-making engine to accelerate proven programmes, solutions, and innovations into the supply chain to lower carbon emissions.”
PVH Corp’s CEO Stefan Larsson adds: “Our company purpose, to power brands that drive fashion forward for good, is at the core of our multiyear growth plan and has guided us for many years. We know that collaboration and funding are critical to driving solutions that address the fashion industry’s contributions to climate change and are proud to be supporting the Fashion Climate Fund in this work.”
The Fashion Climate Fund and first round of lead funders were announced in June 2022 and since then Aii says it has made strides in developing its Climate Solutions Portfolio, which is an online registry of initiatives that tackle supply chain carbon emissions. It has also finalised its strategy and approach for the fund’s blended capital approach and built the framework for onsite carbon data collection.
In the coming months, Aii says it will continue to deploy funding into supplier carbon target-setting and prioritisation projects, Clean By Design efficiency programmes, and renewable energy pilots, and build the “use of funds” strategy for 2023, while it convenes more partners into this Fund and grows strategic relationships with investment capital, both commercial lending and private equity, looking toward the $2bn capital unlock.
Aii was founded in 2017 by the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) and Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC), alongside Target Corporation, Gap Inc., PVH and HSBC.