Opinion: 3 ways the fashion industry can meet the SDGs

More and more, prominent fashion industry players are aligning their messaging with the 2030 sustainability agenda. Photo by: Fancycrave

There are several legacy indicators that illustrate an alignment between prominent industry sector players on key issues linked to the Sustainable Development Goals. For example, leading women’s fashion magazine Marie Claire recently devoted a notable issue to sustainability, while the Museum of Modern Art currently celebrates a fashion exhibit entitled “Items: Is Fashion Modern?” And, with a recent roll out of a comprehensive vision leveraging circular economy principles, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation provides a compelling call to transform how modern clothes are designed, produced, sold, and used.

While it is encouraging to witness fashion and corporate actors convening to discuss these issues, positive change requires participation from companies and consumers alike. Constructive, collaborative, and results-driven action across the industry is critically important to formulate, execute, and realize systemic change. Consequently, there are three specific strategies the fashion and apparel industry should incorporate to tackle the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals.

This article is for Devex Members

For full access to the content of the article sign in or join Devex.

About the authors

  • Karen newman profile

    Karen Newman

    Karen Newman serves as a consultant for the United Nations, working on the Sustainable Development Goals as part of UNDP, UNDOCO, and UNCDF, focusing on communication and outreach with new partners and unique industry sectors. She has also worked at ECOSOC exclusively on the Partnership Forum and related programs linked to the Post 2015 Agenda. Prior to this she was the senior communications consultant for UNDP's Business Call to Action.
  • Cara smyth profile

    Cara Smyth

    Cara Smyth is the vice president of Glasgow Caledonian New York College, the first international institution of higher education in the United States to receive degree granting authority, and founder of the renown Fair Fashion Center. With the unique mission to facilitate the incorporation of sustainable practices into fashion, the FFC is proving the business case for sustainability by turning global issues into industry opportunities. In her role bridging the industry, academia and a sustainable future, she now serves on the sustainability advisory council for MarieClaire, is a board member for Glasgow Caledonian University, Sing for Hope, and a Tribeca disrupter.