How the European Fashion Alliance wants to reinvent the European fashion industry based on sustainability, education, politics and innovation
Source & Copyright by FCG
Author: House of Eden
After the main goals of the first summit of the European Fashion Alliance defined last year, the time for action is now beginning. However, a small recap of the summit meeting cannot hurt. A total of 59 representatives from 29 member organizations - from fashion councils to educational institutions to large companies - from 23 European countries came together. Their goal: to decide on a package of measures and actions that will drive the necessary transformation process in the fashion industry in Europe.
Focus of this project: The Green Deal. A central part of the European Commission's climate policy and a guide to a just transition to a low-carbon future. More precisely, he is pushing for the reduction of net emissions of greenhouse gases to zero by 2050. Given the carbon footprint of the fashion industry – created by the status quo of textile production and the Consumer behavior – the focus of the EFA on the Green Deal is not only exemplary, but also necessary.
Sustainability, education, politics and innovation as agents of change
On the one hand, the EFA would like to use its commitments to make a significant contribution to a CO₂-neutral, ecologically sustainable, non-toxic and completely circular textile industry to reach. On the other hand, it is also about raising and sensitizing the awareness of fashion producers, designers and consumers. The implementation of this vision should be based on four main pillars, which the Alliance defined at the Summit 2022. Sustainability, Education, Politics & Innovation.
Specifically, a synergy of sustainability and digital change as well as education and labor market measures should become the motor of the fashion industry. And encourage them to make textiles more durable, repairable, reusable and recyclable. To accelerate this transition process, the EFA wants to mobilize emerging talent as pioneers. So she will Young Talents Actively engage alongside established brands and organizations in leadership roles and activities within the organization.
Source & Copyright by FCG
As an international alliance, the EFA also points out that European collaboration, common values and a common language can break down outdated barriers when it comes to sustainability. It is about creating the same conditions for every country and every type of company and promoting empowerment. “Whether design comes from France, Italy, Germany or Denmark – the basic conditions must be the same for everyone. This is especially important for small businesses looking to go global,” said Caroline Rush, CEO of the British Fashion Council.
The four main goals of the European Fashion Alliance
Based on the four main pillars, the European Fashion Alliance has translated these beliefs into four main goals for the period from 2023 to 2027:
- Definition of an ethical, social and sustainable code of conduct for the members of the EFA. They play a role as representatives and multipliers for the entire fashion industry.
- A Green Deal for fashion at European level. This should represent the fashion culture and economy and advocate a European fashion cycle system based on common data and a common measurement system. Data and findings generated by the EFA network will be published in an emergency paper at the end of 2023.
- Sustainable and technological training measures as well as social and cultural responsibility practices are to be created and enforced for the main actors of the EFA by 2027.
- Promoting the Gen Z as a leading force of value creation in the digital, circular and social change of the fashion industry.
“Fashion has to evolve in the cultural and social context to stay relevant. One of the tasks of the fashion councils is to promote and support a new generation of designers. The young creative people have the ability to change the fashion system sustainably and innovatively," says Christiane Arp, Chairwoman of the Fashion Council Germany.
Collaboration as a future model for change
In order to actually promote change, these objectives should be translated into concrete action plans and political framework conditions over the next two to three years. However, change also depends on a solid understanding of the needs and challenges of creative stakeholders.
“The European Fashion Alliance is an important and strong network which – like no other – can contribute to changing the European fashion industry. Change doesn't happen alone. It's an industry interaction and that's what EFA is. We have created an instrument that will prove itself in the years to come," says Scott Lipinski, CEO of the Fashion Council Germany.
To expand this position, the EFA will conduct a Europe-wide survey among its members in 2023. It is important to identify the needs and challenges of any industry-related actors. On the one hand, the EFA wants a new political framework in response to this EU commitment to a sustainable circular economy create in connection with the fashion industry. On the other hand, it wants to give both creative and economic actors a better understanding of European legislation.
Why the European Fashion Alliance sets a cross-industry example
The cooperation between the members of the EFA is forward-looking. It explains what sustainability means, promotes creativity, drives innovation forward and inspires feelings of responsibility and appreciation. It is particularly important, however, that not only the content of fashion changes, but also its rules and goals. That a new cultural understanding is established: What can fashion do for the individual, society and our planet. The EFA is currently proving that change is possible. And can thus set a good example for other industries.