“We really don’t have long now, to change things. But I honestly believe it’s doable – I couldn’t do what I do if I didn’t believe that,” said Stella McCartney. The designer and eco-friendly fashion pioneer was speaking ahead of her announcement concerning the United Nations new industry-led charter for climate action, scheduled for this week’s Business of Fashion VOICES event, and which will then formally be launched at the global climate talks in Poland in December.
The charter, initiated by the UN climate change secretariat, will set out a plan for action that can enable more environmentally-friendly production methods in a way that is also economically feasible, and has thus far received the greatest support from high street brands. “Fast fashion is responsible for the lion’s share of environmental impact, so they are the most important element in effecting real change,” said McCartney. And while other signatories have yet to be announced, it is hoped that BoF’s VOICES will excite and inspire the industry’s luxury players. “It’s a captive audience of industry leaders,” said founder Imran Amed about the annual event, “and that presents an opportunity to convince them to come on board.” Between 30 and 40 chief executives of international high fashion brands will be in the audience.
Now in its third year, BoF’s VOICES is currently taking place at Oxfordshire’s Soho Farmhouse. The three-day gathering for industry professionals brings together big thinkers, entrepreneurs and visionaries from across the fashion spectrum, to share their experiences, challenge conventional wisdoms and explore new opportunities. Culminating in a gala dinner in honor of the recipient of the Global VOICES award, this year’s winner, following in the footsteps of former model and philanthropist Natalia Vodianova, is Stella McCartney, who is being recognized for outstanding achievement in fashion and exemplary impact on the wider world. “Who wants to talk about this season’s colour or the next It bag?” said McCartney. “The sustainability conversation is really the only one that I am interested in having.”