What fashion should expect at COP26 – Vogue Business

And, as one of the largest sectors, by volume, of ocean and air freight shipping, fashion has a role to play in driving change in this area as well. “Being a big client, they have a lot of power to be able to set expectations and work with those companies to move toward zero-emissions vessels,” says Malas.

Some companies have started to do that. In August, Swiss outdoor gear brand Mammut pledged to transition to zero-emissions shipping vessels by 2030, a move that environmental groups applauded for setting a new bar for the industry — and last week, Inditex, Patagonia, Amazon, Brooks Running and others announced a collaborative effort to decarbonise maritime shipping and aim for zero-emissions vessels by 2040.

Advocates want to see more effort from the fashion world to address other overlooked issues too. For Malas, materials that clothes are made from — petroleum-based polyester in particular — are key. “We would like to see the fashion sector starting to talk about fossil fuels in the realm of fabrics, and we need to see fashion move away from fossil fuels as a feedstock,” he says.

As the conference draws near, advocates’ main message to fashion is to take a leading role, not just in setting strong climate targets, but in laying the groundwork for being able to meet them.

“We need more and more companies to make ambitious commitments, and to then deliver the message to policymakers that the private sector needs climate policies to meet their targets,” says Cummis. That has the reciprocal benefit, she adds, of giving policymakers the confidence to proceed with the higher targets. “We call it the ambition loop. Raising ambition from policymakers and companies will be mutually reinforcing.”

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