2023 Reflections and Seasons Greetings

Explore GFA’s highlights from 2023.

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Federica Marchionni Chief Executive Officer
"Dear GFA Community,  
  
As 2023 draws to a close, I want to take a moment to extend my heartfelt well wishes for the upcoming year and express my gratitude for your unwavering support throughout this transformative year. Your dedication and commitment have been instrumental in fostering our expansive GFA community and propelling action.  

This year, GFA has witnessed pivotal milestones, from hosting our renowned Global Fashion Summit in Copenhagen and Boston to launching impactful collaborations such as the Global Textiles Policy Forum and Renewable Energy Initiative. We’ve published insightful reports such as the Fashion CEO Agenda 2023 and The GFA Monitor 2023, and presented the inspiring Fashion Redressed series along with numerous complementary educational Masterclasses.

In a time of polycrisis, 2023 has been an immensely challenging year for many around the world. It is set to be the hottest year on record, fuelling extreme weather events and we’ve faced economic uncertainties and geopolitical conflict, with environmental and social adversities reaching unprecedented levels. Each and every industry is grappling with these turbulent times, emphasising the need for unity and action as we work towards a more secure future that cultivates prosperity and resilience for our planet and its communities.  

As fashion stakeholders, you have the power to steer this course of change. Looking ahead to 2024, I want to emphasise that the changes we initiate, individually or collectively, transcend the boundaries of the fashion industry and can have a ripple effect across adjacent sectors. I extend my deepest gratitude to those working tirelessly to amplify our collective message for a net positive industry.    

I hope that your holiday period is filled with optimism and restoration and look forward to connecting in 2024 as we strive for even greater impact.  

  
Best wishes, 
Federica Marchionni, CEO "

Global Fashion Summit

 

Hosted in Copenhagen on 27-28 June and in Boston on 27 September, Global Fashion Summit convened more than 1300 attendees across both locations for over 60 hours of live dialogue under the theme ‘Ambition to Action’, tailored towards forging a net positive fashion sector.

Attendees heard from 183 esteemed speakers including HRH The Crown Princess of Denmark and representatives from the European Commission, Kering, Levi Strauss & Co., Loewe, Hot or Cool Institute, Tapestry, Nike, Neiman Marcus Group, Chloé, Thunder Voice Hat, Inditex, United Nations Environment Programme and many more.

Across the two events, ticketholders had the opportunity to meet with 30 in-person solution providers and 23 digital solution providers from GFA’s Innovation Forum. Over 400 business connections between fashion companies and sustainable solution providers were facilitated.

Read more about the Copenhagen Edition here and Boston Edition here. Watch the content in the on-demand library from Copenhagen here and Boston here.

We invite you to join us in for Global Fashion Summit: Copenhagen Edition 2024 in May. Secure your ticket here

Impact Programmes

 

Renewable Energy Initiative

At COP28, GFA, Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) and international fashion companies BESTSELLER and H&M Group revealed a financing mechanism to support the development of the first offshore wind project in Bangladesh.

The project has the potential to significantly increase the availability of renewable energy in one of the fashion industry’s most important manufacturing countries and is expected to contribute to substantial job creation, stabilise energy supply, and reduce emissions by approximately 725,000 tonnes annually.

GFA initiated the companies’ commitment to invest and is now working to onboard other fashion brands to co-invest in the wind plant and potentially future energy projects.

Read more about the project here.

The Global Circular Fashion Forum

The Global Circular Fashion Forum (GCFF) is a collaboration with GFA and GIZ. This year, the GCFF Steering Committee was established, comprised of foundations, development organisations, recyclers, waste handlers, and solution providers

GFA and GIZ are now identifying characteristics for a Circular Fashion Project (CFP) in Cambodia, that will be established next year. In preparation for this upcoming initiative, a pilot project is underway. Furthermore, there is now a call to action for collective participation in a Vietnam project in 2024.

This year the GCFF also conducted a global brand survey to identify regions for potential National Circular Fashion Partnerships (NCFPs). There are plans for scaling NCFPs in Vietnam and Cambodia in 2024, and the initiation of NCFPs in Indonesia (2024) and Turkey (2025).

Read more about the GCFF here.

 

The Circular Fashion Partnership Bangladesh

In 2023 over 10.6 million kilograms of waste were collected and segregated as part of the Circular Fashion Partnership (CFP) in Bangladesh. This year also saw the registration of more than 170 manufacturing facilities and continued collaboration with seven supporting partner brands: H&M, C&A, BESTSELLER, Primark, OVS, Benetton, Teddy. The project is possible due to the support of key project implementation partners, BGMEA and Reverse Resources, working alongside GFA.

Read more about the CFP Bangladesh here.

 The Circular Fashion Partnership Bangladesh project is also continuing its activities as part of the BESTSELLER – Switch to Upstream Circularity Pilot. This pilot project is supported through the global Switch to Circular Economy Value Chains project, co-funded by the European Union and the Government of Finland, and led by UNIDO, Circle Economy and Chatham House. GFA, BGMEA and Reverse Resources are the local pilot partners for the project. As part of this, a revered cohort of industry leaders, policymakers, and experts convened for the ‘Switch to Upstream Circularity Dialogue: Pre-consumer Textile Waste in Bangladesh’ event in Dhaka this year. Learn more here.

Read more about the project here.

Thought Leadership

 

Fashion Industry Target Consultation

In 2023, GFA closed the Fashion Industry Target Consultation (FITC) co-led with the United Environment Programme (UNEP). Between November 2022 and February 2023, over 900 industry stakeholders representing 90 countries shared their insights on identified performance indicators and milestones through an online survey and through several regional workshops.

Insights captured through the consultation were presented in both the Fashion CEO Agenda 2023 and The GFA Monitor 2023.

The Fashion CEO Agenda

The Fashion CEO Agenda 2023, presented in September, is a concise report to support the establishment and implementation of leadership strategies to achieve a net positive fashion sector. It presents five socio-environmental sustainability priorities the industry should focus on to secure prosperity for people and communities while working within planetary boundaries: Respectful and Secure Work Environments, Better Wage Systems, Resource Stewardship, Smart Material Choices, and Circular Systems.

In a first for the publication, the Fashion CEO Agenda 2023 also includes 29 subsequent action areas for brands, retailers, and producers, which have been established through several years of stakeholder engagement and reinforced through GFA and UNEP’s global FITC.

Download The Fashion CEO Agenda 2023 here.

Accompanying the Fashion CEO Agenda is the 2030 Fashion Sector Vision, which presents where the sector at large should be in relation to each priority area within seven years’ time – a critical milestone on the road to net positive by 2050.

Download the 2030 Fashion Sector Vision here.

The GFA Monitor

 

Launched in November, The GFA Monitor 2023 is intended as a converged resource for guiding the fashion industry towards a net positive fashion industry. The GFA Monitor 2023 presents industry progress across five holistic sustainability priorities while also providing a clear overview of actions, credible tools, solutions, and proven best practices. It includes the latest guidance and insights from over 25 industry organisations in one cohesive publication including our five Impact Partners – Fair Labor Association, Social & Labor Convergence Program (SLCP), Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Apparel Impact Institute, and Textile Exchange – and Data Partner – Worldly.

For the first time, the report includes new data insights from the FITC which illuminates the level of industry ambitions per priority, specifically around target setting, progress measurement and reporting, and the areas where more aligned action areas are needed.

Download The GFA Monitor 2023 here.

Policy and Advocacy

 

This year, GFA facilitated policy roundtables addressing issues such as eco-design, consumer empowerment, and corporate sustainability, among others. This engagement extended to COP28 in Dubai, where GFA led two extensive sessions on collective financing and taking stock of industry progress towards net positive.

At Global Fashion Summit: Copenhagen Edition 2023 GFA facilitated insightful discussions with influential figures such as Virginijus Sinkevičius, European Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries and Dr. Anna Kelles, Member of Assembly, New York State Assembly.

Furthermore, GFA published Policy Matrixes for the EU and the Americas, with our commitment to knowledge-sharing underscored by the policy content in the Fashion CEO Agenda and The GFA Monitor.

Together with the Policy Hub-Circularity for Apparel and Footwear, GFA contributed to the development of regulations like Eco-design for Sustainable Products, Green Claims, Empowering Consumers, Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence, Waste Framework, and the upcoming Textile Labelling Regulation revision, among others.

Education

 

GFA Academy 

2023 saw the official launch of the GFA Academy, under which aims to provide information, guidance, and inspiration to the fashion industry and its consumers. Building on Global Fashion Agenda’s foundation of sustainability knowledge we aim to bring our insights to a wider audience.:

Fashion Redressed

This year we premiered the original film series, Fashion Redressed, presented by GFA and produced by BBC StoryWorks Commercial Productions, which is made up of 11 films featuring organisations from across the fashion and textiles industries.

The series spotlights the innovations influencing the new seasons of fashion, featuring a collection of stories from across the world of tailor-made solutions to fit us and our planet. Through stunning human-centric storytelling, the series aims to highlight the scale of the issues and the possibility of solutions, while galvanising leaders in the fashion sector to follow the blueprint of those that have been successful. 

Discover the series here.

Thank you again for your support and warm wishes for the year ahead.

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