Achieving the ecological transition

There’s a law against waste and for a circular economy (the AGEC law) and a draft bill to fight climate change and strengthen resilience to its effects (the Climate law). Then there’s the European “Green Deal”; a European consultation on a strategy for sustainable textiles; a European action plan for the circular economy; and initiatives from France and other countries for environmental labelling. National and EU leaders are outdoing each other with imaginative ideas and with initiatives for sustainable development. 

That’s a reason to celebrate, since the ecological transition is a major challenge for companies’ strategies. It’s an inevitable reality for the market, as shown in every opinion poll and especially the recent extensive survey by, and businesses must get ready. 

In 2017 the Fédération addressed this topic by commissioning the Vigeo Eiris research agency to conduct a report on CSR in the fashion industry. The Fédération has also developed new tools for businesses: a Sustainable Supply Chain Guide in 2019; a study on fashion brands and CSR; and the Resources Green platform, which lists solutions to help brands complete or accelerate their transition to a more sustainable business model. 

The ecological transition is clearly a unique opportunity for differentiation, with French and European businesses naturally better positioned to respond directly to the challenge compared to industries or brands in other parts of the world. At the same time, since sustainable development is part of humanity’s progress, ecological transition should allow the harmonious development of international trade, which has been at the root of global economic growth in the past decades. Ocean pollution and climate change are phenomena which concern us all – French, European, all world citizens – and obviously necessitate global responses. 

What’s also needed is the introduction of simple, easy-to-understand measures that can be applied and that are adapted to the needs of consumers and of the SME’s that make up most of our sector. In this respect, we can be proud of the cooperation between businesses and public authorities, especially concerning new regulations about consumer information on products’ environmental qualities and characteristics. Communication between different industry players as well as their compliance is indispensable to guarantee that the measures targeting long-term change in consumer behaviour are coherent and realistic. 

These are the conditions for the successful ecological transition that we’ll achieve together.

François-Marie Grau – Executive Officer of Fédération Française du Prêt à Porter Féminin