Fashion Task Force announces Manifesto for Regenerative Fashion


Prince Charles’ Sustainable Markets Initiative (SMI) Fashion Task Force has announced its Manifesto for Regenerative Fashion. Included in the manifesto is a €1,000,000 investment programme in the Himalayas aimed at restoring wildlife and sustainable farming to what they say is a “degraded landscape”.

Recently, the SMI combined with a range of fashion brands, retailers, and platforms – including Burberry and Selfridges – to found the SMI Fashion Task Force, which developed the new regenerative fashion manifesto in partnership with the Circular Bioeconomy Alliance (CBA) led by scientist Marc Palahi.

The SMI Fashion Task Force says the manifesto is a commitment to putting the fashion industry on a more regenerative path.

The SMI says that signing the manifesto is a commitment by task force members “to a progressive shift towards “regenerative fashion” — a circular biobased industry that is “inclusive, climate, and nature positive”, using newly created or restored regenerative landscapes as the basis for circular bioeconomy value chains.”

Federico Marchetti, the founder of YOOX NET-A-PORTER Group and chair of the SMI fashion task force, said: “The Regenerative Fashion Manifesto is another concrete step towards creating a much more sustainable fashion industry.

“It is not simply empty words, the manifesto comes with a concrete €1m project for the degraded landscapes of the Himalayas attached. This project will serve as a blueprint for what can be done to shift the fashion industry towards a more equitable, nature positive future.”

Launched by the Prince of Wales, at The World Economic Forum’s 2020 Annual Meeting in Davos, the SMI says it wants to kickstart bold and imaginative action across the next decade. Its aim as an organisation is to “lead and accelerate the world’s transition to a sustainable future by engaging and challenging public, private, and philanthropic sectors to bring economic value in harmony with social and environmental sustainability”.

Marc Palahi, Director of the European Forest Institute and Chair of the Circular Bioeconomy Alliance, said: “The partnership between the Fashion Task Force and the Circular Bioeconomy Alliance provides fashion brands with a unique platform for transformative and sustainable action – connecting the dots between landscapes and closets to transition towards regenerative value chains that support biodiversity and local livelihoods while mitigating climate change.”

The first project developed according to the principles of the new manifesto is the Himalayan Regenerative Fashion Living Lab. As part of the initiative, $1 million will be invested to “restore degraded landscapes and recover traditional textile craft skills in order to enhance the local cashmere, cotton and silk economies while addressing global challenges related to climate change and biodiversity loss”.

The SMI says the aim of the project is to demonstrate the potential of regenerative fashion to restore harmony between local communities, nature, and the environment while creating sustainable fashion value chains. Work is set to start on the project in May 2022, with Reforest Action and the Balipara Foundation providing support on the ground.

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