The leading players in the global fashion industry are moving towards embracing sustainable fashion, with the launch of a series of major collaborative initiatives over the last several years.

To gauge the industry’s progress towards the goal set by the Paris Agreement of keeping global temperature rise below 2°C, this study – commissioned by Fashion Summit, sponsored by HSBC and conducted by KPMG China – looks at the 43 signatories to the UN’s recently launched Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action (“the Charter”).

The goal was to assess to what degree companies across the fashion industry are adopting the various measures already in place that can enable the sector to become genuinely sustainable, particularly with regard to climate change.

We are encouraged to find that so many of the world’s leading fashion stakeholders are already looking to tackle the challenges that lie ahead, and have cemented their commitment by signing the Charter. These companies are leading the way in developing innovative processes, software and collaboration to support themselves and other organisations to find ways forward. We are, however, also aware of the complexities involved in reaching these targets, and of the significant amount of work that will be required.

Yet, we are reassured by the fact that many of the tools and standards already exist and should be leveraged, for example the Higg Index and Environmental Profit & Loss account. By using these tools to measure their impact, and to find ways to enhance consumer awareness, we will surely see encouraging progress.

With the tools in place, backed by consumers, and with pressure for ongoing change, we feel the fashion industry is now ready to take a major step towards being a leading force in the worldwide efforts to reach climate neutrality by the second half of the 21st century.