Unlocking the Next Level: Key Takeaways from the 2024 Global Fashion Summit

In 2009, the Global Fashion Summit emerged as a pioneer in advocating sustainability within the industry. As it celebrated its 15th anniversary this year, the summit’s founder, Eva Kruse, expressed disappointment at the slow pace of progress. A report by the Apparel Impact Institute revealed that greenhouse gas emissions are projected to soar by 40% by 2030, despite the industry’s commitment to halving emissions to align with the Paris Agreement.

Recognizing the need for legislative action, the summit emphasized six key takeaways:


Bold and Brave Leadership

: The industry requires courageous leaders to drive transformative change.


Circular Business Models

: Brands must collaborate to scale up circular business models, such as rental, resale, and repair, to decouple growth from resource consumption.


Indigenous Voices and Knowledge

: Recognizing the importance of Indigenous communities in preserving biodiversity, the summit stressed the need to amplify their perspectives and incorporate traditional knowledge into fashion practices.


Supply Chain Representation

: Ensuring fair representation from across the supply chain is crucial for creating a more equitable and sustainable industry.


Textile Recycling

: Expanding textile recycling technologies and brand support are essential for establishing a circular fashion economy.


Action over Hope

: Patagonia CEO Ryan Gellert emphasized the need to shift from passive hope to decisive action, asserting that solutions exist but the industry lacks the necessary will to implement them.

Despite the challenges, the summit showcased promising initiatives, including the signing of legally binding agreements to improve garment worker wages in Cambodia and H&M’s investment in textile recycling company Syre. The Global Fashion Summit serves as a reminder of the urgency and complexity of achieving fashion sustainability, highlighting the need for continued collaboration, innovation, and a fundamental shift in mindset towards action.

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