Since 2007, Fashion Takes Action has worked with more than 800 apparel businesses and entrepreneurs, participated in over 150 events, collaborated with academics, NGOs and various industry stakeholders, and received tens of millions of media impressions. We look forward to continuing in this way, providing support to the sustainable fashion industry, and continuing to raise awareness with the public. We are excited about our annual industry conference, the World Ethical Apparel Roundtable (WEAR) which began in 2014 as well as our education program, My Clothes My World, currently delivered to students in grades 4-12, in 8 school boards across Ontario and in Vancouver.
For the past 3 years, FTA has convened the Ontario Textile Diversion Collaborative (OTDC) which included over 40 stakeholders – charities, collectors, retailers, brand owners, academics, NGOs, policy makers and municipalities – in an effort to increase textile waste diversion and uncover solutions for reuse and recycling. We are now conducting an extensive research project with the federal Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, to determine the feasibility of a local textile recycling industry and to prepare a roadmap for the Canadian apparel sector. In the spirit of circularity, we are also leading the committee to develop a circular fashion standard for Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Standards Association.
In 2019 we launched the Sustainable Fashion Toolkit in partnership with PwC Canada, in an effort to help global brands and retailers save time when researching the many resources and strategies that are available. These now live online in one centralized location that are easily divided by various categories. We will soon be adding additional benefits to the Toolkit that include customized lists, newsfeed and assessment and benchmarking tools.
It is no secret that the fashion industry is facing many challenges, including but not limited to: the use of pesticides and fertilizers to grow cotton; the highly toxic chemicals used to process and treat fabric; sweatshops and unfair labour practices; enormous amounts of water required to make clothing; the unethical disposal of contaminated water; and the fast fashion frenzy that is contributing to the growing number of textiles that end up in landfill each year.
We realize that perfection doesn’t exist. There are still so many questions and not enough answers; and there are many ways for fashion businesses to become sustainable. Our goal is to present the industry with fair and accurate information, and to build capacity within the fashion system to make smart decisions and take action where possible. If we all make one small change in the right direction – a responsible direction – then collectively we believe it can have a positive social and environmental impact. This is why we celebrate when Purpose Meets Progress.