UN Ambassadors could be seen striking a pose in sustainably produced outfits on Tuesday, at a fashion event held at the delegation of the European Union to the UN in New York, to highlight the need to reduce waste and emissions in the clothing industry.
On this year’s Europe Day, celebrated on 9 May, several Ambassadors to the UN, representing countries in the European Union, could be seen strutting down a catwalk, clad in outfits that had either been reused, recycled, or upcycled.
Deputy-Secretary General Amina Mohammed was among the speakers who shared their insights and experiences on the importance of sustainability. Ms. Mohammed commended the European Union’s positive contributions, but noted that, in many countries, actors do not have the means needed to implement sustainability measures.
Fashion literally costs the Earth
The senior officials were taking part in an event organized the EU Delegation to the United Nations, showcasing the commitment of the two organizations to driving sustainability in the clothing industry. The event was supported by the by the UN-led Conscious Fashion and Lifestyle Network (CFLN).
The impact of a wholesale shift to more environmentally responsible business practices cannot be overstated: the textile sector is currently one of the least sustainable industries in the world, using billions of cubic metres of water ever year, and contributing to more carbon emissions than all international flights and maritime shipping combined.
The fashion event underlined the need to drive positive change at scale, and highlighted the important work of CFLN, which brings together designers, brands, retailers, and consumers who are committed to promoting sustainability in the fashion industry, providing a forum for discussion, collaboration, and innovation.
Dedicated followers of (sustainable) fashion
The outfits worn by the Ambassadors were provided by a committed member of CFLN, the textile collection company Helpsy. They also wore jewellery from Pandora, a Danish brand that has allied its business to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), by promoting sustainability and ethical practices in the jewellery industry, using only recycled gold and silver in its products, and setting a goal to become carbon neutral by 2025.
Reminding her listeners of the importance of environmental responsibility, Ms. Mohammed efforts declared that the promotion of equal opportunity is crucial to ensuring the achievement of Agenda 2030.
The Conscious Fashion and Lifestyle Network
- The UN Conscious Fashion and Lifestyle Network is an online platform, co-led by the UN Office for Partnerships and the non-profit Fashion Impact Fund, for industry stakeholders, media, Governments, and UN entities.
- The network showcases and enables collaborations that accelerate the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.
- The key objective of the Network is to mobilize expertise, innovation, technology, and resources towards a sustainable future, with the Sustainable Development Goals as a guiding framework.