Fashion giants expand learning platform to tackle industry’s climate impact

About You, Yoox Net-A-Porter and Zalando have announced an expansion of their joint initiative, ‘Fashion Leap for Climate’, in an effort to strengthen their education platform and address the fashion industry's impact on climate change.

Fashion giants expand learning platform to tackle industry’s climate impact

Image: Zalando

Launched in 2022, the platform aims to assist fashion brands in quantifying their carbon footprints and establishing targets that align with climate science.

The three retailers will expand their invitations to 250 brand partners, surpassing the 55 brands that participated in the successful first year.

In the second year of the initiative, brands will now be able to join an eight-week live course, comprising four modules and spanning eight hours, either through an engagement track that offers customised support or through a self-directed approach with access to on-demand learning materials.

About You Holding SE’s co-chief executive officer Hannes Wiese said: “At About You, we believe that collaboration and transparency are key to sustainable change across the industry. This creates accountability, but also comparability between businesses and leads to positive change within the fashion sector.

“We are proud of last year’s strong results of Fashion Leap for Climate and are excited – together with Zalando and Yoox Net-A-Porter – to start its second year.”

During the platform’s initial year, brand partners experienced an 85% improvement in comprehending science-based targets while 100% of participants felt more equipped to establish such targets, with more than half intending to do so within the upcoming year.

Nearly all (91%) participants believed the collaborative opportunities offered by the platform to be valuable in fostering discussions and sharing practices with sustainability experts and peers.

About You increased the percentage of partners with science-based targets to 54.4% in 2022, approaching its goal of 90% by 2025, while Zalando increased the percentage of partners with SBTs to 58% in 2022, in line with its goal of 90% by 2025.

Zalando SE’s co-chief executive officer David Schneider said: “Since launching this initiative last July, it is very encouraging to see that the first of our partner brands have completed the learning journey and how it has improved their confidence in taking steps towards climate action.

“We strongly believe that such partnerships are the driving force of progress and that only through working together a long-lasting impact is possible.”

Industry impact

Textile production contributes to 10% of global carbon emissions and is highly dependent on natural resources and water, according to a report from the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).

Another report from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) revealed that the production of textiles is the leading cause of microplastic pollution, responsible for 35% of ocean microplastics.

Last month, the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL), along with the Fashion Pact and Conservation International, launched a new primer to help the fashion industry establish tangible and measurable nature targets.

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