Sustainable Fashion’s Big Wins in 2022

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If 2021 saw gains on garment worker rights, materials invested, B Corps named and resellers made — then 2022 marked the year when leaders increasingly took definitive stances on fast fashion, policy and more.

Here, in a chronological timeline, are 2022’s most noteworthy sustainable fashion gains, informed by search-worthy traffic.

More information from WWD

January 2022: Fashion Act’ Bill New Yorkers Wanted Sustainability Leader

It wasn’t a quiet year in New York City. The “Fashion Sustainability and Social Accountability Act,” or “Fashion Act” (S7428) was unveiled in a media frenzy because of its radical disclosure requirements, environmental reparations and more.

Per the bill, under New York State law any apparel or footwear company doing business in New York that has annual global revenues of at least $100 million would be “required to map their supply chains, disclose environmental and social impacts, and set binding [science-based] targets to reduce those impacts.” Emissions reporting would align with the Paris Agreement and The Greenhouse Gas Protocol Corporate Standard, including the GHG Protocol Scope 3 Standard (or a company’s indirect emissions).

The Act on Fashion coalition, along with designer Stella McCartney and New York State policymakers Sen. Alessandra Biaggi and Assembly Member Dr. Anna Kelles, ushered the bill to the state’s consumer protection committee in January.

March 2022: European Commission calls for Greenwashing ‘Black List’

The EU is undisputed leader in policy and sustainable change-making. As the European Commission stated, it is no longer safe for fashion to continue its rampant greenwashing. In just one instance, the commission moved to “black list” greenwashing as it sets up a number of circular policy changes.

April 2022: Amazon Workers Unionize in Staten Island, Plus Power Shifts

President of the Amazon Labor Union Chris Smalls speaks during the American Federation of Teachers convention, Friday, July 15, 2022, in Boston. Smalls spoke before an address by First Lady Jill Biden. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

Chris Smalls, President of Amazon Labor Union, speaks at the American Federation of Teachers convention in Boston, Friday, July 15, 2022. Smalls spoke in front of First Lady Jill Biden. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

This wouldn’t be the only time workers spoke up on labor issues, but Amazon workers voting to unionize at a facility in Staten Island, New York, would be the first big union win Stateside against the online retail giant.

This trend is expected to continue. Power imbalances appear to be changing. A number of fashion companies spoke out in New York City about the consequences of late payments, recouping, and how they are affecting their business. thousands in owed wages.

May 2022: Then Comes the ‘Fabric Act

Right on cue, the “Fashioning Accountability and Building Real Institutional Change Act,” (or “Fabric Act”) followed the “Fashion Act” as industry stakeholders and political allies seek to supercharge sustainable progress.

The federal bill is viewed as a domestic reshoring initiative that supports labor. It was introduced at a press conference in New York’s Garment District by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and already has a slew of support from the likes of Workers United, Remake, Garment Worker Center (GWC), The Model Alliance, Custom Collaborative, Sustainable Brooklyn, Fashion Revolution, The Slow Factory, New Standard Institute and brands such as Mara Hoffman and Another Tomorrow.

July 2022: Resale Start-ups Give Goods a Second Shot

Summer 2022 was marked by resale moves big and small — be it funding news, acquisitions, new category expansion and the like. WWD looked at how start-ups like MyGemma (The Vault), Flyp, The Vintage Bar, and others operate and differentiate. There is more hope that fashion will embrace sustainability and close the loop as people continue to seek out worn or preowned fashion. consumer behavior.

September 2022: Patagonia’s New Plan, Owned and Managed by the Planet

Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard

Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard.

Patagonia’s primary business is environmentalism. In September, the family that founded Patagonia, Yvon Chouinard, made headlines when they gave Patagonia away more or less (a move valued at $3 billion). The family transferred ownership of Patagonia to two new entities — Patagonia Purpose Trust and the Holdfast Collective — allocating some $100 million in annual profits every year to fight climate change. This shocking news was widely celebrated because it contrasted starkly with modern business’s capitalistic tendencies.

October 2022: Fashion is Fighting Back No Longer Accept Ye ProductsBan Fast Fashion

Fashion is now focusing on fast fashion as well as inflamatory speech and actions. When Ye, also known as Kanye West, made antisemitic comments, resellers from The RealReal, Rebag and more acted swiftly to ban his brand’s products. From a marketing perspective, crusades against overproduction were seen this year in Rent the Runway’s “Fast Fashion Free” campaign or in luxury reseller Vestiaire Collective’s pledge to ban fast fashion.

November 2022: The Academy Got A New Sustainable Red Carpet ‘Style’ Code

Ariana DeBose and Steven Spielberg

Steven Spielberg and Ariana de Bose

Major moments such as the Oscars, Met Gala, VMAs — and even presidential inaugurations — have become dominated by star appeal, with decisions around dress becoming pivotal takes on one’s values. The Academy (which hosts the Oscars) developed a sustainability code of conduct in collaboration with Red Carpet Green Dress. Influential people might be more likely to dress sustainably when they have a visual guidebook or dress code. This positive influence can have a ripple effect on millions of people.

December 2022: FTC Green Guides To Be Updated

Although it may be unfamiliar to many, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission published an eco-marketing guideline for 1992 to assist businesses in their communications. Today’s consumer landscape, however, has changed very much since the ’90s with words like “sustainability,” “regenerative,” “responsible” and more taking hyperbolic shape in clothing ads. The FTC made the decision to pull its Green Guides for review. It was a pleasure for all involved (including trade groups such as the American Apparel and Footwear Association) and it was ready for any changes.

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