On Tuesday 9 November, the GREAT Britain and Northern Ireland Campaign partned with the British Fashion Council to host GREAT Fashion for Climate Action, a showcase of UK innovation. The showcase featured the work of a number of British designers including Burberry, Phoebe English and Stella McCartney. GREAT is the UK's flagship international marketing campaign, the theme of which is to encourage the world to 'see things differently'.
Leading British brands Burberry, Phoebe English and Stella McCartney came together with the British Fashion Council and the UK’s GREAT campaign at Cop26 to showcase the UK’s commitment to climate action through fashion innovation.
With estimates suggesting the clothing and footwear industries are responsible for 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions, British fashion brands lead the way in innovation to address the industry’s climate challenge.
“The GREAT campaign showcases the best of the UK’s creativity and ingenuity across the world. From infinitely recyclable clothing to carbon neutral companies, it’s brilliant to see these British fashion brands innovating and leading the industry towards a greener future.
“I know many more businesses will work hard to make fashion more sustainable in the years to come and I commend the industry’s resolve to play their part in this.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson
Several designers demonstrated the UK’s commitment to tackling climate change through their collections. These brands are weaving their message of climate action into their products to encourage behaviour change in consumers.
- British-American model, Arizona Muse, who will be speaking at the show, will be wearing clothing by Mother of Pearl.
- Burberry has committed to become Climate Positive by 2040. To achieve this, it will accelerate the reduction of emissions across its extended supply chain (scope 3) by 46% by 2030 and become net zero by 2040, 10 years ahead of the 1.5°C pathway set out in the Paris Agreement.
- Mother of Pearl launched their first fully sustainable line, ‘No Frills’, in 2018. Natural fibres such as organic cotton, wool and Tencel™ make up the vast majority of their collections and since then has infiltrated all its learnings into the entire Mother of Pearl world.
- Mulberry’s UK Somerset factories, which produce more than 50% of the products, have been carbon neutral since 2019. Mulberry is committed to achieving net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2035, 15 years before the Paris agreement. This commitment encompasses both the GHGs we emit directly and those associated with our business activities, referred to as Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions. This was communicated publicly during the Made to Last Manifesto launch in April 2021.
- Phoebe English has developed less extractive fashion methods using only non-virgin resources, reducing fibre miles, manufacturing in London.
- Priya Ahluwalia transforms recycled materials like deadstock and vintage clothing into upcycled work.
- Stella McCartney, the pioneer of sustainable fashion, is working with a US company to develop a new plant-based material, Mylo, an “un-leather” grown from mycelium, the vegetative part of a fungus.
Chaired by British Fashion Council CEO, Caroline Rush, the showcase at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum will featured thought leadership and highlight innovations which drive towards a circular fashion economy in the UK.
"Now more than ever, faster and bolder action is needed to create a resilient, zero carbon future. Burberry is thrilled to contribute to the GREAT showcase, which demonstrates how impactful collective action can be. It is essential for the fashion industry to use its influence by investing in more sustainable solutions and we sincerely hope that other businesses feel inspired to take action and make a positive change."
Burberry, VP Corporate Responsibility, Pam Batty
“Sustainability has been a life-long passion of mine and I’ve been on a mission for Mother of Pearl to reduce its impact on the planet. However it's no longer about one brand, the fashion industry requires an entire system reset and a shift in consumer behaviour.
“We need to get back to valuing clothes as beautifully crafted pieces, not throw away objects.The system needs to slow down, we need to invest in brands with the right values and consider closed loop systems which encourage us to rent, repair, recycle and resell, replacing impulse purchases and fast fashion methodology.”
Mother of Pearl, Creative Director, Amy Powney
“At Mulberry we have always taken significant action to embed sustainability across our business, starting 50 years ago with our made to last product and our lifetime services.
“We are committed to a programme of transformative change, embedding principles of regeneration and circularity across our entire supply chain.”
Mulberry CEO, Thierry Andretta
"We are pleased to be able to showcase our work and methods as part of the COP26 conference. The fashion sector has a huge opportunity to be contributing to healthier less extractive systems. It is imperative that as an industry we are unified in our actions to make these approaches general practice across the international sector.
“The time is now."