The industry collaboration between Zalando, Yoox Net-a-Porter and About You, which is starting this Autumn as a pilot with a select group of fashion partners, hopes to reduce carbon emissions within their value chains and across the wider fashion industry.

The work is said to form a critical part of each online retailers’ own climate journeys, with each already working to ambitious reduction targets through the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

The customised programme will be free for About You, Yoox Net-A-Porter and Zalando‘s brand partners and is designed to explain the value and process of climate targets.

It will feature step-by-step learning on how to measure emissions, set ambitious targets that align with climate science, and submit them for approval to the Science Based Targets initiative. It will also provide a space for the fashion brands to engage with one another and with sustainability experts.

What’s the plan for the new climate campaign?

The plan is for the climate campaign to become available to all eligible brand partners in 2023 and the online retailers see potential for the platform to become an industry-wide initiative open to all interested fashion brands and retailers committed to ambitious climate action and creating a more sustainable future for fashion.

Hannes Wiese, co-founder and co-CEO at About You said: “We see an industry-changing momentum in aligning greenhouse gas emission reduction pathways with science. More than 1,500 companies had their targets approved by the SBTi as of July 2022. We have set science-based targets approved by the SBTi and are benefitting from our efforts now. Almost half (46.6%) of our partners on greenhouse gas emissions had their targets approved by February 2022. We invite the remaining business partners to do the same.”

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Zalando’s Co-CEO David Schneider added: “Decarbonising supply chains in partnership with suppliers, brands, logistics, packaging partners and now also our competitors is a powerful lever for driving meaningful change in the fashion industry. We aim for 90% of our partners (by emissions) to set science-based targets by 2025, and the new learning platform is a key initiative towards realising this ambitious goal.”

Meanwhile, CEO at Yoox Net-A-Porter Geoffroy Lefebvre pointed out: “Our commitment to climate action can only be realised through innovative partnership. This next step prioritises investing in brand partners at different stages in their climate journeys, supporting them to set their science-based targets. By collaborating with ABOUT YOU and Zalando, together we can drive a more consistent approach in our efforts towards reducing the emissions of luxury and fashion.”

The three online retailers are said to be committed to reducing their own direct emissions by between 70% and 90%, however they argue that the fashion footprint comes from upstream supply chain activities, such as material production, preparation, and processing.

For this reason the initiative is expected to have two main goals: To scale climate action across the industry for a broader impact and systems transformation, whilst also contributing to the reduction of the three online retailers’ own value chain (Scope 3) emissions.

The initiative is antitrust-compliant and is being run in collaboration with Quantis, an environmental sustainability consultancy with climate expertise.

In 2021 the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) launched what it claimed to be the world-first Net-Zero Corporate Standard.