Fashion Takes Action is Canada’s first non-profit fashion industry organization focused on sustainability. We work with industry and consumers, with the goal to shift behaviour toward more positive social and environmental impacts.
Fashion Takes Action advances sustainability in the entire fashion system through education, awareness, research and collaboration.
FTA operates internally, externally and determines formal relationships with these Guiding Principles in mind. FTA is:
Since 2007, Fashion Takes Action has worked with more than 2000 apparel businesses and entrepreneurs, participated in over 250 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, working to advance sustainability within the entire fashion system – industry AND consumers.
Our annual World Ethical Apparel Roundtable (WEAR) which began in 2014, became a monthly webinar series in 2020, and for 2022 we will be presenting a hybrid conference model. Our youth education program, My Clothes My World, is currently delivered to students in grades 4-12, in person and virtually – across Canada and in Europe and has reached more than 22,000 students to date.
We convened the Ontario Textile Diversion Collaborative (OTDC) which brought together 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. In spring 2021 published Canada’s Textile Recycling Feasibility Report, commissioned by Environment & Climate Change Canada. We are now leading a mechanical textile recycling pilot with a supply chain we have built in Canada, to produce an end product that is consumer-facing and aesthetically pleasing. This project will also include the development of a Guidance document that will be widely shared, and the convening of a stakeholder learning group with more than 20 participants from across the country. In the spirit of circularity, we are a strategic partner of Circular Economy Leadership Canada and Accelerating Circularity in the US, and we are working with the Canadian Standards Association to develop a circular standard for the Canadian apparel industry.
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.
In fall 2021 we launched SHIFT: Responsible Fashion Series for micro and small fashion businesses in North America. This 9 month series is offered over 3 seasons, with a total of 18 hours of networking, learning, and participating in workshops.
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.
Our friends and partners – both local and global -are growing, and so we plan to have a dedicated page for them very soon that will describe in more detail how we support one another, partner or collaborate together in an effort to future-proof the fashion industry. They include: INLAND, PwC, KenDor Textiles, Seneca College, Circular Economy Leadership Canada, Accelerating Circularity, CSA Group, Toronto District School Board, Eco Schools Canada, Textile Exchange, Conscious Fashion Campaign, Good on You, Fashion Revolution, Remake, Value Village, Environment & Climate Change Canada, City of Toronto’s Circular Economy Working Group and Fashion Industry Advisory Panel, Retail Council of Canada, Textile Lab for Circularity, Ardene Foundation, and LUSH.