In October, an industry-leading resource was released to the public: The Sustainable Fashion Resource Toolkit.
As an increasing number of consumers and business owners search for more sustainable products and practices, the demand for transparency has come to the forefront. As such, brands in Canada and beyond are combing through their supply chains ensuring they can be proud of where their clothing, accessories, and footwear are sourced from and how they’re made. Yet, due to the sheer size of the fashion industry, there are still barriers to sustainability and corporate responsibility.
The challenges facing the fashion industry’s efforts to become more sustainable was one of the topics addressed at WEAR Conference at the Beanfield Centre in Toronto, an annual event organized by Fashion Takes Action.
For a decade, Fashion Takes Action has been dedicated to fostering a more conscious fashion future through educational events and seminars. WEAR, their hallmark event, saw sustainable fashion professionals from all over the world gather together to discuss issues including circularity, textile waste, material innovation, supply train transparency, and more. In addition to organizing a world-class conference, Fashion Takes Action also unveiled their largest-of-its-kind Toolkit. Created in partnership with PwC Canada, The Sustainable Fashion Toolkit is aimed at advancing sustainable practices within fashion through easy access to information and resources.
The Toolkit is, in essence, an encyclopedia that features hundreds of vetted, credible resources from global organizations—reports, guidelines, standards, articles, podcasts, case studies and platforms—that are easily searchable by category (water, circularity, chemicals, labour, SDGs, supply chain, materials and climate change).
Aimed at brands, the Toolkit provides everything companies need to know to get started on the path towards a greener future—or to improve upon existing efforts. Another key element to really add value to this mass amount of information is that it allows you to “define, plan, implement, measure, and report,” or in other words to take actionable steps through the help of the platform.
The Sustainable Fashion Resource Toolkit aims to be the handbook for anyone interested in sustainable fashion across the globe as it has removed the single most annoying (and detrimental) barrier to entry: the time it takes to find vetted information on any product or process. Now, businesses can find real solutions to their issues or organizational structures and create real progress towards sustainability through collaboration or individual efforts.
In addition to launching the Toolkit, the WEAR Conference also showcased great progress being made throughout the globe when it comes to supply chain transparency, innovation towards better materials and decreasing corporate carbon footprints and modern slavery.
Many companies in attendance shared progress on sustainability efforts, including Canadian apparel brand Lululemon, footwear company Aldo Shoes, as well as global technology solution providers like Truepic. In addition to sharing success stories, the WEAR conference also touched on obstacles companies have discovered on their journey to increasing ethical and sustainable measures.
For instance, sustainability isn’t something you can just throw into a business and expect it to work, you need everyone to be on board, and more often than not, it’s easier to implement sustainable procedures into a smaller business, or at least a larger one that’s more receptive to it. Many speakers at WEAR addressed the fact that making the switch to sustainability isn’t an overnight endeavour; it takes time, collaborative effort, a shift in cultural norms, and continuous technological innovation.
As with the Toolkit, it’s apparent that timing is key. Sustainability, especially in the case of fashion, has become a popular conversation with both consumers and corporations alike. Having this resource available now means no one entrepreneur or company will have to navigate sustainability efforts alone. The Toolkit can be used immediately and therefore has a ready-made audience.
Click here to view the Sustainable Fashion Resource Toolkit for yourself. If you’re interested in the progress being made or in joining the sustainable fashion efforts, check out Fashion Takes Action for more information on how to get started.
NOVEMBER 7, 2019 •
With reporting from Genevieve Wright and Amanda Cosco