For 5 days, the UN Environment Assembly gave the floor to delegates from more than 170 member countries. The launch of the Sustainable Fashion Alliance established a vision in line with the UN agenda to put fashion on the path of sustainable development. This major event was inaugurated in the presence of Brune Poirson, Vice-President of the United Nations Environment Assembly and French President Emmanuel Macron.
Olistic the Label, France’s leading sustainable luxury fashion brand, was one of the houses invited to Nairobi.
A joint UN initiative for sustainable development
Alliance co-secretaries Simone Cipriani and Michael Stanley-Jones launched a call to action on March 14th 2019, calling for an optimistic and positive action for the future of fashion and our planet.
While different UN institutions are involved in the subject, the Alliance offers a unified approach for greater influence and legitimacy. The challenge is huge but for Michael Stanley-Jones the guideline is clear: “to coordinate the UN system’s response to the challenges facing the textile, fashion and accessories sectors in the achievement of the Agenda 2030 for sustainable development”. The Alliance aims to promote positive active collaborations through events, joint research and the establishment of new standards in contrast to the practices of fast fashion.
The power of the United Nations gives the new coalition access to international debates. A promise of effectiveness in establishing dialogue with the private sector, governments or NGOs. The transfer of knowledge in the fashion industry, traditionally fragmented and competitive, is facilitated by the platform established in a desire for transparency and sharing. Existing initiatives can thus benefit from synergies and feedback for a greener future.
The Alliance advocates not only the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and pollution, but also the improvement of working and remuneration conditions for fashion workers as well as the respect for human rights. A sustainable approach throughout the product life cycle: from the cultivation of raw materials to the manufacture and delivery of the garment, which is embodied in the collections and the commitment of Olistic the Label.
Various initiatives and profiles coming together for a virtuous and sustainable fashion
The launch of the Alliance has made it possible to mobilize multiple actors in the environmental cause who share the same objective: to promote a radical change to make fashion sustainable. These complementary profiles have encouraged exchanges and fueled debates so that politicians, designers, journalists, NGOs and manufacturers can act together. Camille Jaillant was joined by Byron and Dexter Peart, co-founders of Goodee, an online marketplace that showcases craftsmanship, and Italian fashion editor Eva Géraldine Fontanelli.
The round table “The Future of Fashion for a Social Impact” gave Camille Jaillant the opportunity to raise her voice in favor of women’s empowerment, a cause she is highly involved in through the support of a women’s sericulture in India. The founder of the luxury label also advocated the opportunities offered by eco-friendly materials when used in the industry. Alongside Otto Simonett, director of Zoï Environment, the founder of Olistic the Label moderated the panel “The objectives of sustainable development in the fashion industry”. This was an opportunity to present the range of possibilities offered by innovative materials and fibers such as lyocell or peace silk; 100% natural materials and organic crops that are more respectful of the soil and water reserves. This is a necessity at a time when the fashion industry is the world’s second largest consumer of water.
As guests of honor, the United Nations Goodwill Ambassadors were able to relay the importance of combining fashion and sustainable development. Model and actress Nadya Hutagalung is a fervent eco-activist who was awarded the 2012 International Green Awards. The Chinese artist and goodwill ambassador for China Karry Wang was also present; the pop-star is followed by more than 40 million people on social networks.
Innovative certified raw materials and circular economy in the spotlight
Pop-up installations, initiated by Future Fashion Now, invited guests to discover committed designers, artists, influencers and environmentalists. The event showcased local Kenyan fashion through the creations of Deepa Dosaja whose showroom hosted the closing cocktail party.
Designer Heron Preston, nominated as Emerging Designer at CFDA 2019, presented his upcycled collection created from textile waste and his “Jump” capsule made from recycled parachutes, illustrating his vision of responsible streetwear.
Both upcycling and recycling represent invaluable sustainable creative opportunities to limit the ecological footprint of fashion brands and extend the textile life cycle.
For Olistic the Label, Camille Jaillant unveiled a conscious collection made from wood fibers and cruelty-free silk presented at a fashion show organized by NEONYT, an international ethical fashion trade fair. Through this collection, supported by Forest for Fashion (UNECE program), Olistic the Label proves that the use of innovative textile fibers can contribute to a sustainable and desirable fashion. A positive fashion, free of any synthetic materials toxic for our health and our planet. Ana Belen Noriega, Secretary General of PEFC Spain took advantage of the fashion show to present the sustainable alternative of lyocell; an eco-responsible material 100% biodegradable from sustainable forests that won over Camille Jaillant for the creation of her two dresses made of natural fibers from pine and eucalyptus pulp.
Sustainability as a way forward
In line with the 17 SDG of the United Nations, Olistic the Label’s global approach integrates respect and preservation of human and animal life as well as the protection of our planet. Favoring natural GOTS-certified materials from organic farming, Camille Jaillant also pays particular attention to the choice of non-polluting natural dyes and 100% biodegradable eco-responsible packaging. This holistic vision has found an echo among alliance members and guests committed to fighting climate change and meeting future socio-environmental challenges.
As Siim Kiisler, President of the United Nations Environment Assembly recalled: “By using fashion as a form of activism and empowerment, the UN Sustainable Fashion Alliance does not see sustainability as a limitation to fashion, but rather as a trigger to foster real creativity and passion in the industry”.
Despite the recent health crisis, the Alliance has affirmed its commitment. Thus, was born the Ethical Fashion Hackaton, a virtual event organized in May that brought together more than 120 participants including Camille Jaillant.
Alongside the major names of the industry, creators, craftsmen or NGOs from more than 60 countries came together for a 700 hours long brainstorming. 300 ideas were developed on 4 crucial fashion themes: fashion week, production and sales cycles, standards and supply chain. Camille Jaillant was invited to lead a working group on transparency, accessibility and understanding of certifications, a major topic for brands and their customers. As Simone Cipriani, founder of the Ethical Fashion Initiative at the origin of this project, confirmed: “the objective is to generate ideas that can become real solutions to the problems exacerbated by COVID-19”. 7 selected ideas are now in the development phase to be soon presented to investors.
As an ambassador for change, Camille Jaillant is taking full part in this collective responsibility in favor of a more beautiful and conscious fashion. The United Nations Sustainable Fashion Assembly brings together enthusiastic actors ready to implement alternative and transformative solutions for the industry and our lifestyles. As Camille Jaillant concluded in her interview for Peclers “it is also an opportunity to understand and access new markets where sustainable and organic fashion will surely become the norm”.