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Fashion brands collaborate to support decarbonisation of apparel suppliers

  

A number of major fashion brands are collaborating on a new initiative called the Future Supplier Initiative, aimed at supporting deep decarbonisation of apparel suppliers. Facilitated by The Fashion Pact in conjunction with the Apparel Impact Institute, Guidehouse, and DBS Bank, this initiative will combine financial incentives, such as de-risking loans, with technical support to encourage suppliers to adopt renewable energy solutions and electrification.

The program's pilot will launch in Bangladesh with the backing of leading brands including Bestseller, Gap Inc., H&M Group, and Mango. Additional brands are actively being recruited to expand the initiative to other regions. This initiative comes in response to the staggering statistic that 99 per cent of the emissions by fashion brands occur within the supply chain. It aims to share the financial risks and responsibilities of transitioning Tier I and Tier II garment and textile factories to renewable energy sources, thus accelerating the industry’s move towards net zero emissions.

A significant aspect of the Future Supplier Initiative is its brand-agnostic approach, developing and financing projects to help brands and suppliers meet their Science Based Targets (SBTs) and adhere to the 1.5-degree celsius climate trajectory. By providing both technical support and financial incentives, the initiative seeks to overcome the barriers that currently prevent many factories from implementing low-carbon technologies.

Emphasising on the urgency of this initiative, Eva von Alvensleben, Executive Director and Secretary General, The Fashion Pact, states, the cost of inaction on climate change is too high. She highlights the need for collective efforts to bridge the gap between climate ambition and actionable steps.

One of the primary challenges addressed by the initiative is the lengthy payback periods for suppliers adopting emission reduction measures, which often span decades. By decreasing the cost of capital for loans, the initiative aims to make decarbonisation more financially viable for suppliers. Additionally, technical support will help these suppliers identify and implement effective low-carbon solutions.

The Future Supplier Initiative also focuses on baselining and monitoring emission reductions to demonstrate the tangible impact of financed projects. This collaborative effort among fashion brands is designed to identify projects with the highest potential for impact and enable a coordinated global and regional effort towards measurable emission reductions.

Leaders from the participating brands, including Anders HolchPovlsen, Bestseller, Daniel Ervér, H&M Group, and Toni Ruiz, Mango, have expressed strong support for the initiative, highlighting its potential to drive significant progress in sustainability and decarbonisation across the fashion industry.

 
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