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Browsing by Author "Isokangas, Pauliina"

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  • Isokangas, Pauliina (2020)
    The fashion industry is responsible for 8-10% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions – if it continues to grow at the projected rate, by 2050 it will consume more than ¼ of the world’s carbon budget. In 2018, the United Nations Climate Change brought together 43 fashion industry representatives to develop a common approach to the industry’s combat against climate change. The Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action aims to address the industry’s issues on a global level by establishing targets to e.g. reduce the industry’s greenhouse gas emissions and to encourage the transformation towards the use of renewable energy sources throughout the value chain. The Charter, however, is not legally binding in any way – this raises questions regarding its credibility and its role as an instrument of regulation. The Charter is an example of voluntary industry-wide self-regulation; participation is voluntary, the targets were set by the original 43 signatories themselves and there are no methods for enforcement or holding actors accountable in case of non-compliance. These issues have been somewhat addressed in the Charter by e.g. tying it to other reputable initiatives and legislation, such as the Paris Agreement. The lack of accountability and enforcement methods have been partly compensated by e.g. requiring public reporting of certain greenhouse gas emissions. In the absence of traditional enforcement methods (e.g. sanctions), the Charter relies heavily on informal methods, such as reputational pressure. While the Charter is undoubtedly a positive step towards a more sustainable fashion industry, its methods of enforcement and ensuring compliance leave room for improvement. A few studies have also been conducted in relation to the Charter’s targets, and it has been suggested that it may not be enough to address the climate impacts of the fashion industry adequately. The Charter is a promising start towards a more sustainable future but in order to tackle climate change, the fashion industry needs binding targets backed up by formal enforcement methods (e.g. commercially significant sanctioning).