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The non-profit organisation Apparel Impact Institute (AII) has announced the first round of recipients of grants from its $250m Fashion Climate Fund.

Financed by philanthropic partners including H&M Foundation, H&M Group, Lululemon, The PVH Foundation, Target and the Schmidt Family Foundation, the fund rewards lead innovators of carbon reduction solutions for the fashion industry, with funding criteria based on effectiveness, reach, scale and cost.

The Fashion Climate Fund is targeting a carbon reduction goal of 100 million tonnes (or 0.1 gigatonnes) from the apparel supply chain by 2030 and has its eyes on unlocking $2bn in blended capital towards verified impact solutions.

Grant recipients include Precision Development, which has developed Leaf Colour Charts, a low-tech and low-cost methodology to reduce fertiliser application in cotton cultivation – the highest emission source in cotton extraction. The funding will be used to deploy these charts in India, alongside training for farmers.

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) received grant funding to support its solar PV installation project in Bangladesh. The funding will be used to conduct “techno-feasibility assessment” for 30 textile facilities over the next three years.

Made2Flow, a specialist in data gathering and validation software for fashion supply chains, is another beneficiary. Its funding will be used to add to the functionality of its software, with the development of automated and customised impact reduction recommendations for facilities.

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BluWin has also received funding to finance the deployment of Clean by Design’s framework of best practices across Tier 1 and Tier 2 facilities in Bangladesh, while PwC will use funds to implement its Cleaner Production System project across Tier 2 and Tier 3 suppliers in India and Bangladesh.

However, AII says the initial submissions for Climate Solutions Portfolio grants has revealed a research gap in two important areas: thermal energy and energy storage. “Filling this research gap,” it says “is essential to further identify and scale decarbonisation solutions successfully.”

According to the World Resources Institute current business-as-usual growth projections suggest emissions across the global apparel sector will grow to 1.588GT by 2030. This is well behind schedule to deliver the 45% absolute reduction needed across all sectors to limit warming to the Paris Agreement’s goal, so AII hopes to account for approximately 10% of the needed emission reductions through its Fashion Climate Fund.

In AII's June 2023 Taking Stock of Progress Against Roadmap to Net Zero report, AII and the World Resources Institute identified six key interventions for how the apparel sector can reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions – maximising material efficiency, scaling more sustainable materials and practice, accelerating the development of innovative materials, maximising energy efficiency, eliminating coal in manufacturing, and shifting to 100% renewable energy.

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