Feb 5th, 2019, 02:00 PM

Paris' New Sustainable Fashion Initiative

By Isala Gray
Eiffel Tower and Buildings
Eiffel Tower. Image Credit: Pexels/Martijn Adegeest
Take a peek into Paris’ plan to be the sustainable fashion capital of the world.

By 2024, Paris plans to be the sustainable fashion capital of the world after the launch of its Paris Good Fashion initiative. 

The five-year proposal was announced at the Institut Français de la Mode on Monday by Antoinette Guhl, the deputy in charge of social economy and solidarity, Frédéric Hocquard, the deputy to Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo in charge of cultural diversity and nightlife, and former fashion journalist Isabelle Lefort. The initiative will bring a wide range of fashion professionals, designers and brands in the industry together to push a more eco-friendly style of production.


K IS FOR KYOTO/TRANSPARENCY ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Kyoto Protocol was the world’s first legally binding agreement on mitigating climate change and ensuring transparency of reporting. It took eight years to negotiate among 84 signatories and required industrial countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions to 5% below 1990 levels by 2012. To help meet this target, the Protocol set out a range of market mechanisms such as emissions trading, emission reduction credits and carbon taxes. Unfortunately, the Kyoto Protocol did little to reduce global greenhouse-gas emissions. However, it did lay the groundwork for the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, which became effective in 2016 and has 195 signatories, accounting for at least an estimated 55% of total global emissions. The aim is to keep the global rise in temperature below 2°C. Considering the textile industry accounts for more greenhouse-gas emissions than all international flights and maritime shipping combined, our clothes have a very important part to play in mitigating climate change. Words by @sarahditty Artwork by @katie_marie_peck A-Z of the many ways the fashion industry impacts climate change and harms the environment. We know that clothing production doubled between 2000-2014 and the industry’s increasing reliance on fossil fuel-based polyester means that it is used in 60% of our garments. We examine the impact that the associated use of energy, water, pesticides, and chemicals is having on the environment. We take a moment to consider the complex issues and to suggest easy actions and ways we can all be the change. If you haven’t already ordered yours, you can make a difference by buying a copy by visiting our website. #fashionrevolution #tradefairlivefair

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The initiative will follow three main themes: "creating a circular economy, improving sourcing and traceability, and making distribution, energy and communication – including Paris Fashion Week – more sustainable," according to WWD. This plan will cover every aspect of a garment's construction from sourcing and production to its debut at Fashion Week. According to WWD Antoinette Guhl said, “Our role is to encourage creation while fighting against climate change, to continue production in France while protecting natural resources and to develop our industry while looking out for our artisans. I hope this day marks the beginning of a collective movement within the fashion industry.”

With the threat of global warming constantly rising, it is reassuring to see the world's second-most polluting industry take on the rewear, reuse and recycle mindset. With Paris being the fashion capital of the world and it housing some of the oldest fashion houses, this initiative should set the precedent for fashion brands worldwide.  

Others for the fight of redesigning our future by adopting a circular economy are brands like H&M and Adidas, vowing to use only recycled material by 2030 and 2024 and Stella McCartney adopting a completely transparent production chain.

Copenhagen set a 2020 initiative among dozens of brands to use fabrics that are easier to break down. The European Parliament also does their part to benefit the environment, climate, and human health by setting ambitious recycling goals for households.

Lefort says, "When I started out in fashion 20 years ago, no one talked about sustainability, but the world has changed: we are in a situation of ecological disaster. This is a huge concern for the younger generations, who are appealing to fashion brands to change their processes. We need to create a dialogue between those two worlds."  

The city's sustainability roadmap will be released in June.