The Ethical Fashion Group, the global network and resource centre for better practices in the industry, launches CO

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2018-05-16 11:05:00 – UK

CO (www.commonobjective.co) is the ultimate solution to sustainable fashion business. The platform gives millions of professionals the means to build efficient and sustainable supply chains by matching buyers, suppliers and collaborators with vital connections and information to enable better practices in their day to day work.

Critically for the first time, fashion professionals can make smart, sustainable business decisions supported by CO’s data-driven, solutions-focused content. Founding investors and partners in CO include Harold Tillman CBE, former Chair of the British Fashion Council; Roland Mouret; Vivienne Westwood; Adjuno; pioneering suppliers Mantis World and Plexus Cotton Group; and a number of other leading brands and suppliers. Together, they are building on a 12-year legacy established by the Ethical Fashion Group, created by CEO Tamsin Lejeune.

In 2018, 1 in 8 people in the world work in fashion and textiles, and the fashion world and the media have long embraced sustainability as a concept. But the global fashion industry still has a very long way to go in improving its social and environmental impacts. The use and pollution of natural resources continues to be overwhelming. Up until now there have been too many gaps in knowledge and not enough industry collaboration to make any tangible change. Only 2.2% of factories participate in some kind of ethical/sustainable initiative or recognised certification 192 million people across the globe are still in vulnerable and/or insecure work 83% of the world’s water is polluted with microplastics - the fashion industry is responsible for a third of this 12,400 Olympic swimming pools worth of oil used in a year in the fashion industry.CO is the first free global connection tool for the fashion industry, developed by the Ethical Fashion Group, in collaboration with partners, GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard), Fairtrade, WFTO (World Fairtrade Organisation), Fashion Revolution, and other leading fashion industry bodies.

It is the most practical response to date to the negative environmental impact and human cost of the global fashion sector and provides essential help and guidance for fashion professionals. The site has been developed by a network of fashion professionals from across the supply chain committed to doing business better and making changes for good.

To support the launch of CO, and to coincide with the Copenhagen Fashion Summit (15-16 May) The Ethical Fashion Group has mapped the size and impact of the fashion industry – drawing from over 500 sources including the Pulse Report, the Fashion Transparency Index, market research data, and production data – thus providing clear reference points for improvements across the supply chain. This new research traces the provenance of garments from cotton pickers to retailers, from factories to our wardrobes, and identifies opportunities for better business practices. The research will be updated, expanded, and republished regularly on the CO platform.

Thousands of fashion professionals have already started using the CO platform to find essential connections and information, including individuals from some of the world’s largest brands - Kering, Stella McCartney, PVH, H&M, Levi’s, Target – and leading suppliers – including Arvind (producers for Tommy Hilfiger, Banana Republic), SOKO Kenya (producers for ASOS), and Artisan Fashion (producers for Vivienne Westwood and Stella McCartney).

Tamsin Lejeune said “Our Common Objective is a world in which business works better for everyone. And the planet CO is an innovative and practical solution to the challenges we face as an industry. We’re providing global sourcing and networking with a massive reach – and refining it with intelligent technology that helps users make more sustainable decisions.”

Harold Tillman, Chairman of The Ethical Fashion Group added “CO is about Impact. Our goal is to transform the way fashion business is done – changing lives for millions of people in supply chains, on a global scale.” Everyone working in the fashion industry is invited and encouraged to join and connect with potential customers, suppliers and collaborators, access the expertise and information to succeed sustainably in fashion, and make a material difference.”

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