Actions towards a sustainable and circular fashion industry presented at SDA Bocconi

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Actions towards a sustainable and circular fashion industry were discussed at the new SDA Bocconi Campus in Milan during the three-day event (21-23 September 2021) Accelerating action for the sustainable and circular garment and footwear industry of the future by the sector stakeholders, who renewed their commitment to improving their sustainable and ethical practices.

Candiani Denim commits to a more sustainable garment industry

Accelerating action for the sustainable and circular garment and footwear industry of the future was hosted by United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the Monitor for Circular Fashion area of SDA Bocconi School of Management Sustainability Lab and involved 50+ speakers, 150+ in-person participants, and 650+ online attendees.

Garment and footwear industry stakeholders, policymakers, campaigners, and academics were engaged with companies and brands from the sector in practical training to improve traceability and transparency and take action towards a circular economy model.

Danielle Arzaga, sustainability manager, and Simon Giuliani, global marketing director, represented Candiani Denim, talking about the UNECE call to action and SDA Bocconi circular fashion manifesto and the business process analysis for sustainable and circular textile and leather chain value respectively.

Traceability, transparency, and circularity KPI were presented

The Key Performance Indicators (KPI) the Monitor for Circular Fashion members are committing to in order to measure traceability, transparency, and circularity related to their processes and products were also presented for the first time. Candiani Denim is an ingredient brand of the Monitor.

These KPIs will be tested during some of UNECE’s pilot projects. Their purpose is to define relevant and reliable indicators that can be used by garment and footwear companies to measure circularity performance through their value chain and accordingly to accelerate the progress towards greater sustainability.

The Monitor for Circular Fashion presented a managerial agenda as well, recommending taking some concrete actions to enhance the circularity performance of all the companies and of the entire sector. Traceability and transparency of the full fashion value chain, as well as improving the circular economy, were identified as priorities by the industry stakeholders. The support of policymakers is considered essential too, in particular to enhance waste collection, accelerate industrial symbiosis, and develop consistent criteria in Europe for end-of-waste.

Participants adopt The Sustainability Pledge of UNECE

The Sustainability Pledge of UNECE was eventually a theme of the event. The participants had the chance to share their commitment and experience in adopting the pledge in a series of roundtables, presentations, and informal talks.

The Sustainability Pledge is the outcome of the UNECE project Enhancing transparency and traceability of sustainable value chains in garment and footwear, implemented with the United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and e-Business (UN/CEFACT), in collaboration with the International Trade Centre (ITC) and funded by the European Union.

The Sustainability Pledge wants to provide companies a toolbox to trace the entire production of their goods, from raw materials to consumers’ purchases. The aim of the project is to set up a mechanism to enable governments, industry partners, consumers, and all the industry stakeholders to make risk-informed decisions and assert and verify sustainability claims. This process should be simplified by some policy recommendations, implementation guidelines, and standards approved by UNECE countries to promote transparency and traceability in the entire garment and footwear value chain.

Many leading brands and industry actors have been involved in blockchain pilot projects to use UNECE’s toolbox.

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