Leading by example: Leonardo DiCaprio and the Fashion Sustainability Movement

Leonardo DiCaprio also supports the Fashion Sustainability and Social Accountability Act (Fashion Act), a New York legislative proposal aimed at transforming fashion into a more sustainable and ethical industry

The fashion industry has many weaknesses, and we at greenMe often discuss them. Fast fashion (and often luxury fashion as well) causes unsustainable waste, pollution, and mistreats its workers, all issues that need reflection and urgent change.

However, you might not have heard about an interesting initiative that originated in the USA aiming to revolutionize the fashion industry, making it more sustainable and ethical. We’re talking about the Fashion Sustainability and Social Accountability Act, known as the Fashion Act, which has Leonardo DiCaprio as an exceptional spokesperson. DiCaprio recently highlighted the goals of this initiative, calling his fans to action in an Instagram post.

What the Fashion Act is and its goals

It’s a bill currently under review by the legislative committee of the State of New York (you can see it here), which has the potential to influence not only companies operating in the United States but also those globally, including Italy.

As Leonardo DiCaprio reminds us in his post:

Among the supporters of the bill urging the governor to sign are not only organizations for environmental justice and union leaders within the supply chain but also brands, innovation companies, and international suppliers based in New York that recognize the need to be regulated and see it as an advantage for the state’s economy, the global climate, and human rights.

The Fashion Act, which will apply to all fashion companies with a turnover exceeding $100 million based within New York or doing business there, aims for very ambitious goals. Among these are requiring fashion companies to track and monitor at least 50% of their supply chain, starting from the farms where raw materials come from, through factories and shipping.

No more passing the buck; companies are responsible for what happens along the entire supply chain.

This process will require companies to also assess environmental impact, considering aspects such as greenhouse gas emissions (in line with the goals set by the Paris Climate Agreements), water consumption, and the use of chemicals.

Moreover, companies will have to set specific goals to reduce energy consumption and emissions, communicating in detail the origin of raw materials and the percentage of recycled materials used.

From an ethical and social perspective, the Fashion Act will require companies to make known the working conditions and wages of workers, ensuring they are at least in line with a living wage.

Companies will have 12 months to comply with the directive (18 months for disclosure of impact information), and those who do not meet these requirements risk fines up to 2% of annual revenues.

How is the industry reacting to the proposal? Many international brands and companies in the supply chain are trying to understand how to possibly comply with the new demands. The law, moreover, will intersect with the European directive on due diligence, which requires companies to monitor environmental, social, and governance issues.

The Fashion Act, with the support of well-known personalities like Leonardo DiCaprio (but also Jane Fonda, Cameron Diaz, and Andie MacDowell) and the adoption of innovative technological tools, could really represent a fundamental turning point for the fashion industry, pushing companies towards more sustainable and ethical practices. It could also encourage the creation of similar regulations in other countries.

We truly hope that a new era of social and environmental responsibility will soon begin for the fashion industry.

Source: Fashion Act

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