Company supply chains, use both captive breeding facilities and wild-harvesting to obtain ‘raw materials’ for the production of clothing, footwear, accessories, jewelry and home-wares.
In statements from the British Fashion Council and the Council of Fashion Designers of America, regarding the need for a fashion industry reset, wildlife was ignored. Global Fashion Agenda’s, CEO Agenda COVID-19 Edition discussed a humanitarian and existential crisis [for the industry] as a result of the pandemic, but managed to ignore the root cause, the legal commercialisation of endangered and exotic species. It isn’t covered by new networks, from Business For Nature to President Emmanuel Macron’s G7 Fashion Pact, where he asked Kering Chairman and CEO, François-Henri Pinault to bring together ‘a global coalition of companies in the fashion and textile industry including their suppliers and distributors, all committed to a common core of key environmental goals in three areas: stopping global warming, restoring biodiversity and protecting the oceans.’
On the G7 Fashion Pact website it states, The “Pact” contains best efforts that are concrete (i.e. visionary but achievable) and that intend to directly address each of the priority areas. The “Pact” will not reinvent the wheel but create an overarching framework for action in relation to the One Planet Lab work streams. This includes direct links to the significant work already taking place in existing initiatives within the fashion sector in the manufacturing part of supply chains. The new targets will build on the existing initiatives such as Apparel Impact Institute, C&A Foundation, Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Fair Fashion Center, Fashion For Good, Sustainable Apparel Coalition, Textile Exchange, The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), UN International Labour Organization/Better Work, ZDHC. The aim is to ensure that new actions will fill the “gaps” across fashion supply chains.
Again, the blind spot is visible, as the monitor and regulator of the legal trade in endangered species, CITES, is not a part of this group. CITES, whose objective is to ensure that the international trade in endangered animals and plants does not threaten their survival in the wild. How can this not be included when, one of the three goals of The Pact is restoring biodiversity, and the direct exploitation of species for the legal trade has been confirmed as the most important driver of decline and extinction risk for marine species and the second most important driver of decline and extinction risk for terrestrial and freshwater species; the legal trade plays an even greater role than climate change to the decline for these species.
Awareness of the fashion and luxury industry’s blind spot, regarding the use of endangered and exotic species must be raised. This is why HowToSpendItEthically.Org has chosen World Biodiversity Day to launch three new initiatives.