The Sustainable Fashion Communication Playbook : 8 points to remember
How can you best communicate when you are an actor of change in the fashion industry? Whether you are a committed brand, a manufacturer, a communications and marketing agency, an influencer or a media, communication remains a fundamental tool for conveying your messages and raising awareness among your target audience.
To this end, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action, sponsored by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), have created a guide: the Sustainable Fashion Communication Playbook. It aims to transform communication aimed at fashion consumers aligned with the objectives of sustainable development, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the Kunming Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF). Here are the key points to remember :
The challenge of sustainability
The fashion industry faces major sustainability challenges. It currently contributes directly to the global crisis of climate change, the destruction of nature and biodiversity, pollution and waste. Global greenhouse gas emissions attributed to this sector are estimated at between two and eight per cent. In addition, it has significant impacts on pollution, water extraction and biodiversity, as well as causing social injustice on a global scale.
The 8 principles of the Sustainable Fashion Communication Playbook
The Playbook proposes eight fundamental principles to guide fashion communicators in their responsible approach:
- Use transparent communication: communicators must ensure that technical and scientific information is shared in a clear, accessible and verifiable way.
- Eradicate messages encouraging over-consumption: the Playbook encourages them to counter the linear economic model of unsustainable consumption and to promote messages encouraging more thoughtful consumption.
- Promote positive change and present circular solutions: communicators should highlight sustainable and circular alternatives to help consumers adopt more sustainable lifestyles.
- Highlight new models and conceptions of aspiration or success: the Playbook encourages the presentation of positive narratives with ecological, cultural and social fashion values.
- Motivate and mobilize the public to advocate for wider change: communicators must encourage the public to become actively involved in demanding sustainable action from companies and political decision-makers.
- Embrace inclusive marketing: communicators should celebrate diversity and promote inclusive reefs that reflect sustainable values.
- Support dialogue with leaders and policy makers: the Playbook encourages communication to influence policies and decisions that promote sustainability in the fashion industry.
- Adopt a scientific approach: communicators should work with sustainability experts to ensure credible, science-based information.
The editors’ plus
In terms of communication, a holistic approach involves presenting a comprehensive and balanced vision of sustainable fashion, highlighting the industry’s positive initiatives while recognizing the challenges and opportunities for improvement. It also includes empowering consumers by informing them of the choices they can make to support more sustainable fashion.
It is by adopting this holistic approach that the fashion industry can transform its business model towards genuine sustainability, taking into account the multiple aspects that shape its impact on the planet and society. This requires collaboration between brands, consumers, industry workers, governments and civil society organizations to create positive and meaningful change.
Photo : Pexels / Andrea Garibay.