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UNECE and partners launch initiative for more sustainable clothing

Today’s global clothing and textile industry is worth approximately $3 trillion, produces 80 billion garments worldwide every year, and employs about 60 to 75 million people. Clothes now pose a formidable challenge to our planetary boundaries.

Many actors from the textile and clothing industry, including individual designers, fashion chambers, small companies and big corporations, as well as consumers, are looking for solutions. In order to engage the global community in developing an initiative to detox the textile and apparel industry and support more informed and ethical choices, UNECE and partners  are organising a brainstorming session on 8 June at the European Development Days 2017, Europe’s leading forum on development since 2006. The session is organised in collaboration with TÜV Rheinland OECD, UNEP, the Italian Chamber of Fashion, Fashion B.E.S.T and other key industry actors.

Building up on UNECE’s long standing experience in developing international norms and standards, the session will aim at:

  • Discussing practical approaches for encouraging companies in the industry to embrace sustainable business practices, in support of the SDG 12 on responsible consumption and production;
  • Raising awareness as regards production and consumption trends for the clothing and textile, and its environmental and social impacts and long-term consequences;
  • Gathering inputs for the development of trusted, harmonized industry standards, related labels, and certification schemes for traceability and measuring performance;
  • Initiating an effective global partnerships on traceability in the clothing and textile sector;
  • Featuring a demo of clothing produced with a fully traceable supply chain.

Expected outcomes of the session include the design and development of cutting-edge recommendations for the key stakeholders involved in the clothing and textile industry – brands, retailers, consumers, governments – to tackle and effectively handle the detox process of the industry itself and foster responsible production and consumption patterns. 

Join us in Brussels on 8 June or follow the discussion at #Fashion4SDGs