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UNECE and FAO launch “Forests for Fashion-Fashion for Forests” initiative on International Day of Forests

Published: 11 March 2014

Sustainable development is high on the United Nations agenda, but unfortunately, still a low priority in people’s lives, and very often not a principle driving business. Promoting sustainable production and consumption patterns calls not only for political will and commitment, but also for communication and outreach at every level of society to change priorities, habits and unsustainable practices. Such a change is often not, or not only, a matter of affordability, but more a matter of knowledge and choice.

It is with this in mind that the Governments of Switzerland, the Russian Federation and Italy, as well as Cittadellarte, the Italian National Chamber of Fashion, the Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève and other partners have joined forces with the UNECE-FAO Forestry and Timber Section to launch the initiative “Forests for Fashion-Fashion for Forests” aimed at promoting sustainable fashion.

To reach the wider public and generate awareness about the various products deriving from forests and how forests can contribute to a green economy, the partners have chosen the date of 21 March, the International Day of Forests.

The launch will consist of a series of events, including:

  • Art performance “Terzo Paradiso” by Michelangelo Pistoletto, one of the leading figures of the Arte Povera movement, (plaine de PlainPalais, Geneva, 11:00-11:30, with the participation of more than 500 students);
  • Conference on fashion and forests (Palais des Nations 14:30-17:00) with high level speakers from the public and the private sector, including representatives of leading textile companies and NGOs committed to promote sustainable fashion;
  • Opening of a fashion exhibit with a dance performance by choreographer Marthe Krummenacher (Palais des Nations 18:00-19:30). The exhibit will feature a fashion line created by young designers for the International Day of Forests.

The message of the celebrations is simple: our choices, even on how we dress, can make a difference and lead us towards a more sustainable world. Forests for Fashion will show this is possible.

The exhibit will be opened by Acting Director General of the United Nations Office at Geneva Michael Møller; UNECE Executive Secretary Sven Alkalaj; the Assistant Director-General for Europe and Central Asia, FAO, Mr. Rakhmanin; the Ambassador of Italy to the UN in Geneva, H.E. Luigi Serra; the Ambassador of Finland to the UN in Geneva, H.E. Päivi Kairamo; the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the UN in Geneva, H.E. Borodavkin; the Ambassador of Switzerland to the WTO and EFTA, H.E. Winzap. The opening will be followed by a talk on forests and fashion with Maestro Pistoletto and the President of the Italian Chamber of Fashion, Mr. Boselli.  

The full programme of the various events is available at: http://www.unece.org/forests/forestsforfashion.html

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

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