Climate Change & Sustainable Fashion: Let's Be Business Leaders For Action

Climate Change & Sustainable Fashion: Let's Be Business Leaders For Action

Climate Change has been front and center in the news about the UN Climate Summit in New York last week 20-27 September 2019. 

There were passionate speeches at the Global Summit with incredible leadership shown by Greta Thunberg and the students who spearheaded the Climate Strikes around the world. Huge turnouts globally to demand that Governments take action to stop climate change destroying the planet. We strongly recommend watching Greta's speech in full. 

 Putting the 2019 UN Climate Summit in context

The 2019 UN Climate Summit is the continuation of UN global work on climate change, not the start.  

In 2015 all UN Member States adopted The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development - the shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. At its heart are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are an urgent call for action by all countries - developed and developing - in a global partnership.

UN Sustainable Development Goals


The Good Life Goals were developed as the blue-print for implementation of the SDGs.  There are 5 Goals set out against each of the 17 SDGs - 85 ways anyone can contribute towards the huge, planet-changing objectives that sit at the heart of the SDG agenda.The personal actions that everyone can take to help support the SDGs. Read more

good life goals


The 2019 Climate Action Summit was called by the UN Secretary-General António Guterres. Recognising that there is still time to tackle climate change but that it will require an unprecedented effort from all sectors of society, leaders from government, business and civil society were asked to come to the 2019 Climate Action Summit on 23 September with plans to address the global climate emergency. The objective was to boost ambition and accelerate actions to implement the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and spark the transformation that is urgently needed to propel action that will benefit everyone.

Business As A Major Stakeholder In Climate Change Action

'Fulfilling these ambitions {SDGs} will take an unprecedented effort by all sectors in society — and business has to play a very important role in the process.'

The private sector's contribution to sustainable development and achieving the SDGs is led by the UN Global Compact. As the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative, it provides a framework to guide all businesses with its Ten Principles.

The Ten Principles relate to Human Rights, Labor, Environment and Anti-corruption. The Environment principles are:

Principle 7: Businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges;

Principle 8: undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility; and

Principle 9: encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies.

The UN Global Compact is the over-arching organisation leading the business initiative but the operations are conducted through the Global Compact Local Networks at the country level. 

The UN Global Compact Local Networks are independent, self-governed and self-managed entities. They enable companies to make local connections with other businesses and stakeholders from NGOs, government and academia and receive guidance to put their sustainability commitments into action. The Local Networks work closely with the UN Global Compact in New York and act as a point of contact for UN Global Compact signatories in a country.

Is James&Co A UN Global Compact Member?

We are committed to James&Co being a business force for good. Hence our recent accreditation as a B Corp. We have been in operation since 2012 and we are a small business with a singular focus on womens' classic leather look outerwear that is tailored in fabrics that are both cruelty-free and environmentally friendly. 

We are classified as a 'micro enterprise' for the purposes of the UN Global Compact. We are not a large corporation or an SME with 10 or more employees and so we do not qualify as a business which can join the UN Global Compact or the Local Network relevant to us which is UN Global Compact Australia. However, we have signed up to receive news bulletins and we will be able to participate in events held by the Australian network.  We look forward to beginning those engagements and networking with other stakeholders. 

What Can We Do To Help Achieve The SDGs?

Our recent blogs in Sustainable All have highlighted that we see James&Co can make positive contributions to sustainable fashion through collaboration with both our wholesale and retail customers. In particular through responding to the research fact which was pivotal to creation of the Good Life Goals -  that 88% of consumers EXPECT brands to inform them how a business' products, attributes and behaviours will enable a consumer to make an individual sustainable difference. For example, James&Co has started a recycling initiative for plastics-based vegan leather/polyurethane jackets. A consumer who sends a jacket to us for recycling is therefore diverting a non-biodegradable from landfill and making a positive contribution to sustainability. 

We're fired up by the Climate Change Summit 2019 and through our focus on sustainable cruelty-free fabrics for womens' outerwear and our business initiatives such as recycling, non-plastic packaging, Peta-approved Vegan accreditation, Certified B Corp accreditation, Sustainability Policy we do have a story to tell consumers.

As wholesale and retail partners in the supply of sustainable fashion items, we can all be business leaders working with our consumers to make a difference. We'd love to hear from you about becoming our partner! 


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