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May 23, 2023
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Hermès and Selfridges leave the Fashion Pact, now co-chaired by H&M CEO Helena Helmersson

Translated by
May 23, 2023

Launched in 2019 during the G7 in Biarritz, the Fashion Pact initiative now claims to represent a third of the global fashion market, from entry-level to luxury, with the aim of finding solutions to limit the harmful impact that the fashion industry has on the planet. This movement is now co-chaired by Helena Helmersson, the CEO of the Swedish group H&M since January 2020. But the Fashion Pact is also facing the loss of French house Hermès, British department store Selfridges and the British label Stella McCartney, who have discreetly left the organisation, as spotted by Business Of Fashion.

Helena Helmersson - H&M

These are brands that have already been engaged in CSR strategies for many years, and which have left the Fashion Pact because of the little progress they have made since its creation four years ago, according to the specialised media.

Contacted by FashionNetwork.com, the Fashion Pact management confirms these departures but believes "it is normal that there are fluctuations in the number of members over time, with new members joining The Fashion Pact and others deciding to end their participation. In fact, this ensures that the membership is made up of companies that are strongly committed to the aims of The Fashion Pact and contribute to the collective progress of the initiative."

"Although the number of our members has slightly decreased, it is worth noting that we have added members with significant volumes such as OTB Group (owner of Diesel and Marni...) and MF Brands (owner of Lacoste, Aigle and Gant...), which are bigger players and have a significant impact," continues the organisation, which indicates that it has approved two new entrants -whose names are not disclosed- and is currently studying five other applications.

Helena Helmersson replaces François-Henri Pinault

Replacing François-Henri Pinault, CEO of Kering and co-founder of the Fashion Pact, who will continue to sit on the executive committee, Helena Helmersson will work in tandem with Paul Polman. The latter was the CEO of Unilever from 2009 to 2019 and has been re-elected as co-chair.

"In the face of today's climate emergency, we need to work together to meet the challenges ahead - challenges that one company alone cannot solve," comments Helena Helmersson.

Bringing together players such as Burberry, Kiabi, Mango, Farfetch, Carrefour, Armani, Etam and Adidas, the Fashion Pact's ambition is "to accelerate collective efforts, from suppliers to retailers, and now plans to deepen its action to focus more on activities upstream of the value chain," says the organisation in a statement.

Its sixty or so members say they hope to use 100% renewable energy by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

Since 2020, the Fashion Pact has, for example, set up a "virtual collective power purchase agreement" (or CVVPA), a mechanism aimed at developing the use of renewable energy in Europe. The agreement is also developing a common biodiversity benchmark to measure the impact of companies on fauna and flora and help define strategies that are more respectful of living organisms.

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