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The United Nations may not seem like a natural partner for the fashion industry, but its role in the field is growing rapidly as the threat of climate change becomes more pressing. On Monday night, model and sustainability consultant Amber Valletta presented the intergovernmental organization with an Environmental Sustainability Award at the 2022 CFDA Fashion Awards.
“The UN Sustainable Development Goals have become a compass for our industry,” the CFDA told fashion business“As the world gathers at COP27, we salute the UN’s global leadership and celebrate its work to actively lead and mobilize our global sector to accelerate actionable efforts.”
When UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed accepted the CFDA award in New York, her colleagues were convening the COP27 climate change conference in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. Looking back at both events, Mohammed said there was still a lot of work to be done to achieve the group’s ambitious climate change goals – and fashion will play a big role in uniting people in support of some of these efforts.
“The creative world doesn’t get the same investment as science and technology, but it has the same — if not more — dividends,” she told fashion business“People will continue to dress and be influenced by others in the fashion industry. They want to be happy and feel good, to explore their culture and identify with different sports. It’s part of the fabric of our society.
“The challenge is how to engage with fashion and creativity in a way that provides meaningful employment, improves the environment and has an inclusive economy with gender equality and human rights at its core.”
The UN’s contribution to fashion focuses on system change, a holistic approach that encompasses consumer behaviour, alliances between rival luxury goods companies, and a commitment to drive the industry to net-zero emissions. Its three flagship projects are the United Nations Conscious Fashion and Lifestyle (CFL) Network; the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action (a member of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change); and the United Nations Sustainable Fashion Coalition.