SMC at COP28

by Alain Chivilò


Human beings are guests and permanent residents on Earth. Predictions and studies demonstrate that without a series of scheduled plans and actions, the lives of all inhabitants could change with catastrophic consequences.

In the complexity of the topic, a small introductory fresco is reported, focusing, in order to give the existing representation, on the points that the Stella McCartney Fashion House has issued.

What is UN Climate Change conferences (or COPs)? They take place every year and are the world’s only multilateral decision-making forum on climate change with almost complete membership of every country in the world. To put it simply, the COP is where the world comes together to agree on ways to address the climate crisis, such as limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius, helping vulnerable communities adapt to the effects of climate change and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

More than 70,000 delegates are expected to attend COP28, including the member states (or Parties) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Business leaders, young people, climate scientists, Indigenous Peoples, journalists and various other experts and stakeholders are also among the participants.

COP 28 represents the 28th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UNFCCC. The statement of COP28 UAE is clear: it will be a milestone moment when the world will take stock of its progress on the Paris Agreement. The first Global Stocktake (GST) will provide a comprehensive assessment of progress since adopting the Paris Agreement. This will help align the efforts on climate action, including measures that need to be put in place to bridge the gaps in progress. The COP28 UAE presidency will work to ensure that the world responds to the GST with a clear action plan.

Stella McCartney Fashion House has always had a sensitivity and respect towards nature and animals. A precursory choice, collection after collection becomes reality in accordance with a greater sensitivity towards the earth’s climatic troubles.

As the main argument behind: the fashion industry is estimated to be responsible for up to 8% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Adding to the challenge of reducing its GHG footprint is the expectation that the industry will continue to grow as a result of increased population and consumption patterns. The responsibility is on fashion brands, in collaboration with private and public leaders, to increase the speed of decarbonisation.

During the COP28 UN Climate Conference, as fashion industry, SMC is present with a delegation starting from “Stella McCartney’s Sustainable Market: Innovating Tomorrow’s Solutions” from 30/11 until 12/12/2023. The key goals are three:
– advocating for policy and regulatory change to incentivise sustainable business and the decarbonisation of the industry;
– continuing a decades-long mission built around human and animal protection and welfare;
– building a coalition of global government and business leaders to support and scale investment in a wide range of material and process innovations.

By delving into what the fashion house has communicated, various topics can be highlighted including announcements, commitments and developments:
– today’s release of its 2023 Impact Report (detailing a wide range of achievements made in the 2022 calendar year),
– renewed commitments to innovation and fossil fuel reduction across materials and processes throughout the production, sale and end of life of all Stella McCartney products,
– strategic partnerships with Mango Materials and Air Carbon to develop new innovations and materials from GHG emissions,
– upcoming 2024 Circular Design Guide to openly share sustainable circular design and materials knowledge, principles and guidelines across industries,
– launching a new innovation campaign with PETA to emphasize alternative and innovative materials for leathers, furs, feathers and fills.

Which solutions? To inspire and educate on the possibilities of current cutting-edge or soon-to-be-available technologies, Stella McCartney is hosting a groundbreaking exhibition at COP28 platforming the future of material innovation – showcasing over 15 next-gen pioneers alongside breakthroughs in regenerative agriculture, bio- and plant-based alternatives to plastic, animal leather and fur, and traditional fibres. Among them are a grape-based alternative to animal leather innovated in partnership with Veuve Clicquot, as well as the debut of the world’s first garments crafted from Protein Evolution’s biologically recycled, infinitely recyclable polyester. The Sustainable Market concept was launched at Stella McCartney’s Summer 2024 runway show during Paris Fashion Week, with the installation continuing to evolve and travel over the coming year. The experiential installation will be enriched with a speaker series and workshops hosted by next-gen pioneers.

The action cannot be isolated but must continue, be renewed and implemented: advocating and collaborating to transform the fashion industry, Stella McCartney will continue to lead with bold sustainability ambitions – including a 2040 net-zero target. This includes cutting emissions across its supply chain by 46.2% by 2030 and developing projects that support supply chain partners, innovators and global communities in their climate-resilient journeys. The brand is continuing to develop low-carbon solutions and invest in nature-based regenerative agriculture projects with carbon benefits that restore and protect natural ecosystems, and enhance the livelihoods of global communities. This includes its continued partnership with the SOKTAS regenerative agricultural programme in Turkey, in collaboration with LVMH and the UNECE. In addition to these efforts, Stella McCartney proudly supports the development and scaling of the next generation of innovative materials and processes through SOS Fund, a $200M sustainable investment fund she co-founded with Collaborative Fund with five start-ups in its roster at the CO28 Sustainable Market:
– NFW and Mirum
– Mango Materials
– Keel Labs
– Protein Evolution
– Brimstone

The other innovators and partners exhibiting at Stella’s COP28 exhibit include:
– Stella McCartney x Veuve Clicquot

– LVMH Life 360 and Maison
– Radiant Matter Biomaterials
– Chargeurs Luxury Fibers/NATIVA™️ regenerative wool
– SÖKTAŞ regenerative cotton
– Savian plant-based fur alternative
– PURE.TECH carbon-negative applications

The letter by Stella McCartney

Since day one at Stella, animals and their welfare have driven me and my vision. When I connected this ethos with the impact animal agriculture has on the environment after reading the Livestock’s Long Shadow report in 2006, it all clicked. Over 1 billion animals are killed to supply leather to the fashion industry every year, so for me the single most important thing to focus on is animal agriculture and how it impacts our industry. Fashion is one of the most harmful industries to the planet. Animal agriculture accounts for approximately 14.5% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, which is about equal to the transport industry at 14%. This is where leather comes from. Not only is leather driving the destruction of our rainforests, but it is also releasing toxic chemicals into the environment and bodies of tannery workers. The fashion industry additionally accounts for 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions. We need to get creative and innovative with alternatives, moving beyond the limited materials that the industry has been working with traditionally. If we work collaboratively with these goals, we can actually begin doing business in a way that regenerates our planet instead of only taking from it.


©AC, NDSL, AM, Alain Chivilo

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