Policy and advocacy
Taking a systemic approach to change, CSF engages in policy change work to support social and environmental justice, to recognise and incentivise sustainability led fashion design entrepreneurs, and to champion support for best practice at larger scales.
Through the power of fashion as a cultural, economic, creative, social force – we support change towards sustainability through:
Informing public debate and policy recommendations
Challenging the dominant detrimental narratives of fashion
Advocating for climate-related goal setting to commit to targets
Being a trusted authority and recognised voice of expertise in Fashion Design for Sustainability
Since its inception in 2008, Centre for Sustainable Fashion (CSF) has engaged in political discourse to inform and champion ways for governments to support, recognise and incentivise fashion practices that honour equity and recognise the central role of nature in its practices. This has included projects with UK’s Defra (Department for Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs) Wrap and a longstanding commitment to the APPGESF (All Party Parliamentary Group for Ethics and Sustainability in Fashion.) Fashion generates wealth and employment, it also innovates, shapes and expresses cultural values, influencing how people feel and the lifestyle choices they make: as such we have huge potential to prompt, and reinforce ways in which to live within planetary boundaries, ensure social equity and champion diversity in fashion.
All-Party Parliamentary Group on Ethics and Sustainability in Fashion
From discussions in 2009, leading to the formation in 2011 CSF, has provided the secretariat for the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Ethics and Sustainability in Fashion. Working with its founder Baroness Lola Young, our scope of exploration has included the development of political solutions that might address the environmental impact of excessive consumption; the assessment of government’s role relating to exploitative labour conditions in the supply chain; concerns relating to the welfare of animals used in making fashion products; and critically, the means to educate children and young people on issues of sustainability.
The APPG was restarted in 2020 with Baroness Lola Young and Katherine West MP as co-chairs. CSF Director Dilys Williams, as Special Adviser, has an active advisory role within the APPG, with Fashion Roundtable acting as the group’s secretariat.
The APPG has built a network of individuals, students, designers, and businesses all working towards a more ethically and sustainably-led industry, creating space for further action as well as raising awareness of issues amongst Parliamentarians. The group has raised debate in parliament relating to consumption, Modern Day Slavery (introducing an amendment to the 2015 Act) and the value of Fashion SMEs.
A new report from the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Ethics and Sustainability in Fashion was published in July 2021, which urges the Government putting an end to exploitation and environmental harm. Read the report 'Cleaning Up Fashion'.
Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action
CSF is a supporting organisation of the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action, an initiative of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and is active in Working Group VI: Promoting Broader Climate Action. The Working Group’s purpose is to communicate a shared vision and understanding through the development of a common strategy and messaging, including by championing climate action within the fashion industry through an enhanced and trust-building dialogue with relevant stakeholders.
Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) Report Fixing Fashion
CSF submitted two pieces of evidence to the EAC enquiry into fashion and sustainability in 2018. Professor Dilys Williams was also called to give evidence in the enquiry. The subsequent report, Fixing Fashion offers a clear and important set of recommendations to the UK government. These recommendations, whilst not taken up to date, continue to be debated and CSF continues to seek ways for key recommendations to be reconsidered.
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)
CSF has been part of the Sustainable Clothing Action Plan (SCAP) since its inception in 2007. SCAP is now managed by WRAP and CSF continues to sit on the steering group, as well as contributing to the design working group.