British Fashion Council and United Nations Office for Partnerships Collaborate on The Award for Positive Change at The Fashion Awards 2019

02 December 2019
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The British Fashion Council (BFC) is delighted to announce a collaboration with the United Nations Office for Partnerships (UNOP) that will recognise businesses and individuals in fashion that make concerted efforts to support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This year, this collaborative initiative will celebrate the Signatories of The Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action, convened and facilitated by the UN Climate Change. In 2018, fashion stakeholders worked to identify ways in which the broader textile, clothing and fashion industry can move towards a holistic and ambitious commitment on climate action and other SDGs. As a result, The Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action (the Charter) was launched at UN Climate Conference in Katowice, Poland (COP 24) with the mission to align the industry with the goals of the Paris Agreement and drive the Fashion Industry to net-zero emissions no later than 2050. Through the Award for Positive Change at The Fashion Awards 2019, the Signatories are to be recognised today, on the opening day of COP25 in Madrid, Spain. This award will recognize their leadership in addressing one of the most urgent issues of our time – climate change.

The United Nations, including the UN Climate Change have encouraged political and industry leaders globally to act on the SDGs. Earlier this year, French President Emmanuel Macron, ahead of the G7 Summit requested that Francois-Henri Pinault, Kering Chair and CEO, spearhead the Fashion Pact, focusing on science-based targets for the climate, biodiversity and oceans - key work that complements the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action.

Going forward, each year, the BFC, working with UNOP, will recognise those making a distinct impact with the  Award for Positive Change which sits in line with the SDGs.

Caroline Rush, BFC Chief Executive, commented: “This year has been a catalyst to set leadership and industry-wide international collaboration like never before. With the Award for Positive Change, we want to recognise those businesses who mobilised our industry in as little as a year. We know that alongside the signatories of The Fashion Industry Charter, there are many great initiatives globally already in action – and our aim at the BFC is to continue to work in support of the United Nations  in celebrating those that are setting new standards upholding the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.  Celebrating those businesses that have joined the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action and working collaboratively to find climate solutions is just the start.” 

“Our Office is proud to collaborate with the BFC and support their valuable work on mobilizing the fashion industry as a driver for positive change. By joining forces, we can leverage the creativity and talent of leaders within the fashion industry to make the Sustainable Development Goals a reality. The Charter, as the first initiative to be recognized by the Award for Positive Change, represents the unprecedented mobilization of the fashion industry on SDG13 – Climate Action. In doing so, we hope that others may follow suit, so that success stories are scaled, and commitment is catalysed to promote models and practice that work for people and planet” - Robert Skinner, Executive Director of the United Nations Office for Partnerships. 

All attendees at The Fashion Awards will see the SDGs brought to life through #TOGETHERBAND, a non-profit campaign that champions the SDGs for a sustainable future and is a partnership between sustainable accessories brand BOTTLETOP, the UN Foundation and UBS. The #TOGETHERBAND friendship bands for each Goal made from upcycled ocean plastic and repurposed illegal fire-arm metal will be available to guests on the evening.

The Fashion Awards is the main fundraiser for the BFC’s charitable and talent support work. The BFC is a not for profit organisation focused on promoting excellence in British fashion and supporting the future pipeline of creative talent. The BFC’s work is achieved through a range of charitable initiatives which focus on education, business and mentoring schemes that support talent from school level, and emerging designers, to fashion start-ups and established brands. In 2018, the BFC raised over £2.3 million for its charities and business support initiatives, out of which £1.1 million will be allocated directly to scholars and designer businesses. The remaining money will go towards building an endowment to secure support for future generations.