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COP26: What does this mean for fashion?

COP26: What does this mean for fashion?

In November 2021, representatives from every nation in the world will gather together for the 26th Conference Of Parties in Glasgow. The aim: to negotiate new and improved targets which build on the 2015 Paris Agreement, making national commitments towards climate change adaptation and mitigation. But, beyond government regulation and policy we all know that more sustainable consumption and production patterns are needed. With fashion and clothing making up the largest land filler and one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, not to mention micro fibre pollution and energy usage, this is our place to write the rules for a new world. Taking a look at the 4 main goals of COP26, we interpret them through our own operations, exploring how we can contribute to a fairer and greener world for people and the planet.

Goal 1. Secure global net zero by mid-century and keep 1.5 degrees within reach.

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions means low energy processes, reduced demand and increased circularity. Not only do we make our basics from organic cotton which requires less energy and water, while contributing to more sustainable farming practices, but we source our prints from within 25km of our Malawian workshop which is powered by renewable energy solar panels. With made to order items were also making sure only what is needed is produced, keeping reductions to a minimum. We have also used dead stock silk and up cycled materials to create Mayamiko clothes, while utilising scraps for reusable sanitary pads and accessories, contributing to our zero waste approach.


Goal 2. Adapt to protect communities and natural habitats

Using natural materials helps to limit the toxins and pollution making its way into the creators' communities. By building the Fashion Lab training facility our aim is also to create jobs, new opportunities and livelihoods for those living in Malawi, where many still rely on sustenance farming that is becoming increasingly precarious under erratic changing climate conditions. Through our partners from Amma in Sri Lanka to Awamaki in Peru and Article 22 in Laos, we also help sustain traditional practices and lifestyles, often situated in rural areas using sustainable practices and locally sourced materials.


Goal 3. Mobilise Finance 

We invest in people over machines! From training women in financial literacy to supporting refugees living in Italy and remote communities in the Andes, we often raise our revenues and donations in high income countries to provide incomes and build practices in places with less opportunities.


Goal 4. Work Together to Delivery 

Growing numbers of global compacts, from the UN's Global Fashion Agenda to the advocacy work of Fashion Revolution, are helping to increase the accountability of clothing producers through campaigning and communications, bringing together communities of like minded makers. We're always looking for new partners doing similar projects who we can help booster, while working with local organisations in our communities on health to education - for example through our COVID19 aid. However, more transparency is still needed within the fashion industry and a way to connect small scale makers, invested in their communities, to buyers and collaborators globally. This is something we're working on right now, so stay tuned...

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