The global fashion industry is valued at more than 2.5 trillion dollars and employs over 75 million people worldwide. The sector is an engine for economic development, but how does it align with sustainable development?
Many leading brands and fashion consortiums are increasingly concerned about the environmental and social impacts associated with the textile industry. Almost 65 percent of global fabric consumption consists of synthetic fibers derived from fossil fuels, and the majority of the remainder is made up of water- and pesticide-intensive crops.
Sustainable solutions and alternative materials are required!
Renewable and responsibly sourced forest fibers are part of the solution for a sustainable fashion industry.
Modern wood fibers can be used to produce sustainable, renewable and biodegradable textiles and a range of materials the fashion sector can use to reduce its ecological footprint. New technologies are able to convert wood pulp into fibers with a circular approach, reusing chemicals and lowering the amounts of water and energy that are required in the process of manufacturing synthetic materials.
The 'Forests4Fashion' Initiative
The Forests4Fashion initiative was launched in 2014 to promote sustainable forest management beyond the forestry sector. It aligns with the goals of the UNECE/FAO Integrated Programme of Work, which is to raise awareness about the relevance of forests and forest products and services to other sectors, such as fashion and textiles.
Through communication and outreach activities on social media and through exhibitions and engagement with the design community, the F4F initiative aims to:
raise awareness about the environmental and social impacts associated with textile fibre production;
help initiate real change in the world of fashion by showcasing ways to do things differently together with all stakeholders;
promote sustainable forest management through the use of certified wood pulp for textile fibres; and showcase the work of talented designers that have placed sustainability at the core of their designs.
UN Alliance for Sustainable Fashion
UN Forum on Forests
Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC)
Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI)
Citadellarte Fashion B.E.S.T.
Zoi Environment Network
Independent designers/brands/companies: Olistic the Label, Maria Lafuente, Tiziano Guardini
Launched in 2021, the Forests4Fashion Sports Challenge is a call to the World of Sports, including sports events' organizers, committees, athletes, sportswear brands, producers and consumers to help advance circularity and sustainability in sports, which aims to encourage the reuse of sportswear where possible, and promote the use of renewable fibres.