Published 2 months ago.
About a 4 minute read.
Image: Fossil Fuel Fashion campaign
An impressive panel of activists, climate and human rights leaders launched a campaign at Climate Week NYC calling for prompt, radical, legislative action to break the fashion industry’s intrinsic links to fossil fuels.
On Tuesday, the Fossil Fuel Fashion
campaign launched at Climate Week
NYC with an expert-led panel discussion on the urgent need to extricate fashion from its dependence on fossil fuels.
Even though fashion tops several lists in terms of negative impacts — it is estimated to be the third-most-polluting industry, after food and construction; and it's responsible for 10 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions per year, more than shipping and aviation combined — fashion’s climate impacts are traditionally under-represented during key climate
negotiations. The Fossil Fuel Fashion campaign seeks to ensure the industry does not continue to fly under
the radar in the wider call for an equitable and just phase-out of fossil fuels.
The event, hosted by The Rockefeller Brothers Fund at New York City's iconic
Morgan Library, featured a discussion by Ugandan climate-justice activist,
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Vanessa
Eco-Age founder Livia Firth
MBE and Policy Director
Harjeet Singh, Global Engagement
Director to the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty
Initiative; Rachel Kitchin, Corporate
Climate Campaigner at Stand.earth; and Cameren
Bullins, Program Associate for
and Sustainable Development at The Rockefeller Brothers Fund — in front of a
full audience comprising business leaders, civil society, philanthropists, UN
delegates, climate activists and key fashion industry figures — on fashion’s
over-reliance on fossil fuels.
Built on more than three years of investigations and research by the campaign’s
partners — including Stand.earth, Plastic Soup
Foundation and the Geneva Centre
for Business and Human Rights — the Fossil Fuel Fashion
campaign highlights the intrinsic link between Big Oil and the fashion industry;
and the direct correlation between the growth of fast fashion and its reliance
on synthetic, fossil-fuel-derived fibers.
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“More than any other industry, fashion drives and thrives off the inequality
between the Global North and the Global South,” Nakate asserted. “While fashion
companies grow rich on a fast-fashion business model fed by fossil fuels, they
dump their waste and pollution on countries in the Global South least equipped
to deal with it. A fast, fair phase-out of fossil fuels from fashion is critical
for climate justice.”
The Fossil Fuel Fashion campaign panel at Climate Week is the first in a planned
series of activations by the campaign coalition — which will include activities
in Brussels, COP28 and the World Economic Forum in Davos. The
goal is to leverage the combined power of policy interventions, innovations and
business solutions, and grassroots campaigning to drive a phase-out of fossil
fuels from fashion.
L-R: Rachel Kitchin, Harjeet Singh, Livia Firth, Cameren Bullins, George Harding-Rolls and Vanessa Nakate | Image courtesy of Getty Images
The campaign calls for prompt, radical legislative action to stem overproduction
in the fashion industry and decouple it from fossil fuels with three calls to
an equitable phase-out of fossil-fuel-based materials
a commitment to science-based climate targets
open support of systemic legislative action.
Synthetic fibers such as polyester and nylon, derived from oil and gas, will
account for 73 percent of fiber production by 2030. While fashion innovators are
consistently developing new,
alternatives to these ubiquitous textiles, along with other plastics, they still
represent a significant revenue stream for the fossil fuel industry — giving it
ongoing license to operate in a world needing to rapidly
Commenting on the campaign, Dr Johan
Rockström — eminent
environmental scientist and Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate
Impact Research — said: “The fashion industry,
with its global reach, is intrinsically connected to numerous environmental and
socioeconomic issues — encompassing resource
international trade, human
consumer behavior, geopolitics and environmental
Our research shows six of the nine planetary
have now been crossed; and anthropogenic activities are a key driver of this. As
a sector, fashion is closely linked to exceeding planetary boundaries in several
ways — an influence which can no longer be overlooked or underestimated.”
Published Sep 20, 2023 8am EDT / 5am PDT / 1pm BST / 2pm CEST