Fashion is broken. As an industry, it is one of the world's largest polluters in the form of carbon emissions, microplastics, and chemicals. It is also responsible for a slew of human rights violations.
Many brands are working hard to tackle many of these issues. But they can't do it alone. Problems this vast and complex require national--and international--coordination and policy changes. And yet no country has been willing to step up and take the lead. That's why during New York Fashion Week, brands like Allbirds, Everlane, and ThredUp, along with nonprofits like Fashion Revolution and the New Standards Institute in demanding change.
This concept was first proposed in an article by Elizabeth Segran in Fast Company magazine. https://www.fastcompany.com/90595661/president-biden-appoint-a-fashion-czar?partner=rss&utm_source=rss&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=rss+fastcompany&utm_content=rss?cid=search
February 22, 2021
President Joseph R. Biden
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20500
Dear President Biden:
We are encouraged by early actions in your tenure to elevate and act on critical environmental, labor, health and domestic production issues. The fashion industry is a key actor in these areas and seeks to be involved in a coordinated action plan. The industry produces up to 10% of global carbon emissions and there are many fashion companies who have been engaged in human rights violations, including relying on forced labor and unsafe factory conditions that have led to Covid-19 outbreaks. In the wake of the pandemic, the industry faces challenges on many fronts including labor, health and safety, trade, pollution, domestic production and supply chain transparency, among many others. These policy areas cut across sectors, government agencies and national borders. A high level advisor is needed to coordinate the policies and people of the fashion industry. We, the undersigned fashion organizations and advocates, implore you to create a Fashion Czar position within your Administration.
A recent article from Dr. Elizabeth Segran in Fast Company magazine, first raised the idea of the creation of such a senior position. As the article states:
The fashion industry is a $2.5 trillion beast with tentacles in every corner of the world, and yet it operates with little oversight or regulation. It employs more than 75 million people, the majority of whom are poorly paid women, who are vulnerable to abuse. This vast global supply chain means that no single country has been forced to take ownership of the terrible damage it has caused to the planet and workers. President Biden has expressed a desire to make the United States a leader in the climate fight at home and abroad. As part of this effort, he can set the agenda on how to clean up the global fashion industry, paving the way for other nations to do their part.
US presidents have relied on czars, high level advisors, to coordinate US policy in a variety of industries and crises for the past 100 years, including WWI preparedness, auto manufacturing, energy, drugs, and Y2K, just to name a few. A czar should be empowered to bring together key industry participants, advocate for policy changes, and have a senior role within the
Administration. The creation of a Fashion Czar would signal your Administration’s commitment to humane labor and environmentally sound practices as well as a recognition of the role of fashion as a driver of the US economy.
As fashion weeks continue in the US, a spotlight will shine not just on the clothes being shown, but also the practices and policies of the industry. We stand ready to work with you to advancthe creation of a Fashion Czar and to promote this vibrant, creative, and economically important industry.
BRANDS & SUPPLIERS
Everlane * ThredUp * EILEEN FISHER, Inc * Prabal Gurung * Timberland * Rebecca Minkoff *
Allbirds * Reformation * Mara Hoffman * Cuyana * AUrate * Aday * MZ Wallace * Clove *
Summersalt * The Big Favorite * Another Tomorrow * Outerknown * Frances Valentine * Amendi
* SOLGAARD * Kordal * Hudson+Bleeker * Blueland * Alice Alexander * Dara Lamb * Rens
Original * Covalent * TIDAL New York * Circ * Milo Tricot * Blinded by Color * LOOPTWORKS * Brave GentleMan * Vreseis Ltd. * Botanical Colors * Shimmy Technologies, Ltd. * TS Designs
* Elizabeth Segran, senior staff writer, Fast Company * Kerry Pieri, digital fashion director,
Harper’s Bazaar * Elizabeth Cline, journalist and author of The Conscious Closet * Edwin Keh,
CEO of The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel and Lecturer, The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania * Lynda Grose, Chair of Fashion Design at the
California College of the Arts * Arthur Van Benthem, professor of environmental economics,
Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania * Willow Defebaugh, Editor-in-chief of Atmos
* Tabitha St. Bernard-Jacobs, Racial Equity Fashion Consultant * Amanda Curtis CEO
CoFounder Nineteenth Amendment & N.A.bld * Amy Dufault, Sustainable Fashion Storyteller,
Consultant * Kim Jenkins, Founder of Fashion and Race Database * Dana Thomas, journalist and author of Fashionopolis * Hannah Stoudemire and Ali Richmond, Fashion for All Foundation * Alyssa Hardy, journalist and author of forthcoming Fashion Dystopia * Laura Piety - Associate Producer and Director of Marketing for fashion documentary The True Cost.
Co-Founder / CEO of Noble Media * Adrianne Wright, CEO of Rosie and co-founder of I Will Not Be Quiet * Diana Watts, (adj) professor, Johns Hopkins University, Environmental Sciences and Policy Program Thomasine Dolan Dow, Independent Sustainability Consultant * Caroline
Priebe, Founder, Center for the Advancement of Garment Manufacturing * Kimberly Guthrie, Associate Chair, Department of Fashion Design + Merchandising, VCU
Custom Collaborative * Conscious Fashion Campaign * Circular Services Group * Fashion Revolution USA * Fashion for All Foundation * Fibershed * Global Fashion Exchange *
Sustainable Brooklyn * The New Fashion Initiative * The Model Alliance * New Standards
Institute * The OR Foundation * PayUp Fashion * PoliticallyInFashion * Remake * Sustainable
Brooklyn * Wearable Collections * Sustainable Fashion Initiative * Fashinnovation * Sustainable
Fashion Forum * Fashion Mingle * co-lab * Fashioneering LLC * Shop Tomorrows * *NYC Fair
Trade Coalition * Fashion of Tomorrow * Material Innovation Initiative * The Cerise Foundation * Material Exchange * Salter Textile Consulting
Send an email to Hilary@PoliticallyInFashion.com
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