1. What is Fashion Declares?
Fashion Declares is a bottom-up movement. We are a network of individuals from right across the sector including designers, buyers, merchandisers, operations, finance, marketing & PR, suppliers, servicing agencies, influencers, campaigning organisations and retail professionals.
We recognise that climate, ecological and social crisis is the most serious and pressing issue of our time and whilst this industry is a huge contributor to this crisis, we also believe that it is a creative, innovative sector with drive and passion that can take a leading role in tackling this crisis and be a significant force for positive change.
2. What is the purpose of Fashion Declares?
Our purpose, which is founded on 5 commitments, is to;
- Speak out for urgent action to address the climate, ecological and social breakdown; and
- empower, inspire and support individuals working at all levels within the industry to urge their employers to accelerate plans to address this crisis.
The five commitments are provided below with more detail in Appendix one
1. Speaking out for urgent action to tackle the climate, ecological and social crisis
2. Decarbonisation and Restoration of Ecosystems and Biodiversity
3. Social justice and the Just Transition
4. Radical transparency and corporate governance
5. Transition to a regenerative model for the fashion industry
3. Who is behind Fashion Declares?
Fashion Declares is governed by REAL Sustainability CIC and supported by an advisory group, led by Safia Minney CEO of REAL Sustainability. The advisory group is currently being formalised and is likely to comprise the following individuals;
- Ben Tolhurst: Director, Business Declares, REAL Sustainability Associate
- Mike Barry: Strategic Advisor, speaker, commentator on Sustainable Business
- Debbie Luffman: Product Director, Finisterre / ThinkCircular / Hubbub
- Mariusz Stochaj: Head of Product and Sustainability at Continental Clothing
- Tom Berry, Global Director Sustainable Business, Farfetch
- Safia Minney: Founder, People Tree, REAL Sustainability, Business Declares, Advisor, Speaker, Author
4. How is Fashion Declares funded?
Fashion Declares operates within REAL Sustainability CIC and as such will utilise existing infrastructure for areas such as management & admin, governance, hosting, branding, comms & social media, development of tools and content etc. Mechanisms for funding for the movement will comprise a range of sources including;
- Donations from individuals and organisations which are committed to this movement
- Funding from relevant foundations and industry bodies
- Webinar & workshop donations/ participation token fee
5. In what ways can I be part of Fashion Declares?
There are three ways of being part of Fashion Declares. The core focus of Fashion Declares is to attract Individual Members – individuals from right across the Fashion Sector who will give their voice to the 5 commitments which this movement stands for. However we are also looking to supplement this with two other groups;
- Supporting Organisations – businesses from the Fashion Sector and other related/relevant sectors can offer their support to Fashion Declares; and
- Advisory Group Members – individuals may join the advisory board to take a more active role in the administration of Fashion Declares.
6. What do I need to know if I am considering signing up to Fashion Declares as a member at an individual level?
– What is expected of a member?
We are asking members of Fashion Declares to do three things;
1. Raise awareness of the climate, ecological and social crisis and the role which the fashion industry can play to address it within your organisation and wider networks. We would expect you to discuss this topic in the work-place with your colleagues and help inspire them to also hold similar discussions ensuring that the topic of fashion and how it can help tackle the climate crisis becomes mainstream. By galvanising these conversations in the workplace one can mobilise support and create a movement which ultimately leads to behavioural change.
2. Proactively advocate for change within your organisation and your wider networks to accelerate plans to address the crisis. We expect signatories to take an active part in advocating and driving for policy change within their organisations.These policy changes could relate to areas ranging from sourcing green energy and more sustainable travel within your organisation to more complex areas such as more sustainable procurement, sustainable production methods and green finance.
3. Share stories, ideas, successes and challenges across the wider network. As a network, we strive to support each other, learn from each other, and build a change movement in collaboration with each other. Sharing information and good practice, as well as the difficulties and challenges faced are key to this
Fashion Declares provides advice, support and tools for enabling you to feel confident in both of these objectives.
By doing these things, we will
- Create a community of individuals which will push businesses to go further and faster to address the ecological and humanitarian emergency
- Help support a mechanism where people’s voices are heard, and
- Ensure that the ‘sustainability agenda’ is no longer the domain of the sustainability department or C Suite alone, but becomes the lens through which all business decisions are evaluated and acted upon, right across the organisation and its’ supply chain.
What can a member expect?
Once you have joined Fashion Declares, we will arrange individual or group sessions to understand and explain more about what we hope to achieve together, listen to your hopes, fears and ambitions for the industry and work out the best way of supporting you going forward through a range of tools and good practice.
Tools will be provided in the form of easy to access information supported importantly by an on-going series of webinars to address current topical issues and to ensure we react to topics and issues as they emerge. These webinars and tools will seek to;
1. Address challenging topics by providing expert information, guidance and discussion forums on areas such as;
- How to communicate the emergency and lead a conversation and action
- How to Decarbonise your company
- How to switch to low impact materials including renewable, regenerative and recycled materials
- How to realise a Fashion Circular Economy
- How to reduce water usage and pollution
- How to promote Social Justice and equality
- How to promote governance and transparency
2. Providing practical advice on how your organisation can fully embrace this crisis and how to tackle it. For example by setting out how each department – such as finance, HR, procurement, marketing – can play their part in helping to tackle the crisis. We firmly believe that responsibility for action is not the domain of the “sustainability function” but it is incumbent on every part of the organisation.
What do you need to do to sign up as a member?
In order to be part of this movement, we are asking individuals to sign an open letter setting out your public support for Fashion Declares and its five commitments. The letter is provided in Appendix two.
What does it cost to sign up as a member?
This is a free to join movement. As highlighted earlier we will be exploring a range of funding options. We have taken the decision that subscription should be free of charge as we do not want any barriers to joining, given the urgency of the climate, ecological and social crisis we are currently facing.
7. What do I need to know if I sign up as a supporting organisation of Fashion Declares?
As a supporting organisation of Fashion Declares, you will be agreeing to be advocates of the Fashion Declares movement and 5 commitments. This advocacy could manifest itself in different ways and at different levels, for example;
- fielding individuals from your organisations as speakers in one or more of our webinars;
- helping with the production of material to support the development of our tools and good practice guides;
- facilitating either or both of the above through your organisational/personal networks.
- publicly supporting Fashion Declares as an organisation across your networks, social media and through the use of your and our logos/branding upon mutual agreement. We acknowledge this may be difficult for some organisations given internal process and authorisation procedures and hence we are not stipulating it as a necessary condition of joining as a supporter
- becoming part of the advisory board
- provision of financial support in the form of donations
- provision of pro bono support which could include provision of people for short term/part time placements in the Fashion Declares team
The process for how to become a supporting organisation for Fashion Declares will be clarified in due course and we will be seeking a attract a diverse group of organisations to ensure we have as broad as possible representation in our wider supporting network.
8. What do I need to know if I sign up as an advisory group member of Fashion Declares?
The role of the advisory group is to;
1. Set the tone and direction of Fashion Declares, acting as a non-executive advisory board, to ensure the movement remains focused on helping members engage with tackling the most pressing issues relating to the climate, ecological and social crisis as it specifically relates to the fashion sector.
2. Support the development of tools and good practice guides which specifically relate to helping members encourage their employers to take action on the 5 commitments.
3. Support Fashion Declares in identifying and securing sources of funding.
4. Provide leadership and advocacy to encourage new members to join the movement.
5. Act as a “sounding board” to reflect feedback and views from professionals in the fashion sector as a way of continually improving the offerings which Fashion Declares provides its members.
It is anticipated that the advisory group will be drawn from supporting organisations/individuals. It is expected that the group will change over time to reflect the different types of expertise needed at different stages of the movement and in response to changes in the wider environment and subsequent need to address different topics as they occur.
The process for how to become a member of the advisory board will be clarified in due course. We are looking to create a diverse board with representatives with specific expertise across the fashion industry and its wider value chain
9. How do I become a supporter or advisory member of Fashion Declares?
We don’t anticipate having a formal process. If you are interested in either/both roles we would welcome a direct conversation to discuss how best you can play your part in this movement. Please contact Safia on the email below.
10. Are there individuals/organisations who are not permitted to sign up to Fashion Declares either as a member, supporter advisory board member?
Our ethos is to create a fully inclusive movement and therefore we want to place as few barriers to joining as possible. We do however need to ensure we safeguard against “greenwashing” and undermining what the movement is trying to achieve. We will therefore seek as far as we can to ensure that anyone or organisation who is part of the movement is authentic in their intentions and actions.
11. Why is Fashion Declares different from other Fashion movements?
Fashion Declares is unique because it;
- is focused primarily on the creation of a large-scale bottom-up movement.
- builds a vision for an authentic, regenerative fashion approach, led by those who work within the industry and in doing so creates an ambitious and radical agenda for the fashion industry.
- provides a common, shared language and series of tools for everyone to support an ambitious and Just Transition in Fashion.
- Fashion Declares isn’t a labelling or certifying organisation. We do not endorse members or signatories.
Download the FAQs pack here.