The European Fashion Alliance (EFA), founded in June last year, held its first summit in Maspalomas from 19th to 20th October at the invitation of the Gran Canarian fashion network Moda Calida and the local Cabildo de Gran Canaria.

    The alliance, made up of 29 member organizations including numerous fashion associations, fashion weeks, research and educational institutions, representing more than 10,000 European companies in the fashion sector, from micro to large corporations, summarized the results of this meeting and announced them today, Tuesday.

    Package of measures for change in the industry

    The aim of the summit, which was attended by 59 representatives from 23 European countries, was to discuss and agree on a package of measures and actions to support the necessary change in the European fashion industry.

    “The European Fashion Alliance is an important and strong network that can make a contribution to changing the European fashion industry like no other. Change does not happen alone. It is an industry interaction and that is what the EFA is. We have created an instrument that will prove itself in the years to come,” commented Scott Lipinski from the Fashion Council Germany in a statement.

    One of the main topics of the meeting was the “Green Deal” that Commission President Ursula von der Leyen formulated for the European Union in 2019 to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050, to which the fashion industry must also make an urgent contribution.

    Four pillars: sustainability, education, politics and innovation

    The European Fashion Alliance wants to make a significant contribution to achieving a CO2-neutral, ecologically sustainable, non-toxic and fully recyclable textile industry and raise awareness among fashion manufacturers, designers and consumers. For this purpose, four pillars were defined at the meeting in Gran Canaria, on which the desired measures should be based: sustainability, education, politics and innovation.

    “Our mission is to educate fashion consumers and brands about what it means to be sustainable and to value creativity to show our appreciation for all the people behind the system. One of the main tasks of the EFA is to involve our member brands in the storytelling of their products and to show a new idea of ​​the fashion of the future. By working together in the EFA, we can show other industries what can be achieved when everyone works together,” explained Carlo Capasa from the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana.

    Four main goals

    For the period 2023-2027, the European Fashion Alliance translates this belief into four key objectives based on the four pillars above:

    • 1. The definition of an ethical, social and sustainable code of conduct for EFA members and thus also for the fashion industry.

    • 2. A new Green Deal for fashion at European level, representing fashion culture and economy, based on a European circular and social fashion ecosystem, backed by shared data and a shared measurement data system.
    • 3. The creation and enforcement of sustainable and technological education and social and cultural responsibility practices for the main actors of EFA.
    • 4. Empowering Gen Z and new generations as value leaders in the digital, circular and social transformation of fashion.

    Members agree that the EFA’s vision and goals need to be translated into concrete action plans and policy frameworks over the next two to three years. However, this can only be done with a solid understanding of the needs and challenges of the industry, especially the creative and design-oriented stakeholders.

    “With common values ​​and a common language and a common understanding of measurement tools, it is important for our designers that when they go to France, Italy, Germany or Denmark or anywhere, they have a good and common understanding of the framework that is expected of them in terms of sustainability. Especially for small businesses, for which global trade is a real challenge. The more we ask them to deal with different sizes and standards, the more difficult it becomes for them to trade. This is an opportunity to work together and break down those barriers,” said Caroline Rush from the British Fashion Council.

    Survey 2023

    Later this year, the EFA intends to launch a Europe-wide survey of its members to identify the needs and challenges of micro, small, medium and large companies working in the fashion and textile industries, as well as those from education and research and others to identify industry-related interest groups.

    Through the lessons learned, EFA hopes to create a prioritized policy framework that responds to current legislation resulting, inter alia, from the European Strategy for Sustainable and Circular Textiles and the creation of new EU policies and programs to support the fashion and creative industries. The aim is to give all stakeholders a better understanding of European legislation.

    In addition, EFA seeks to engage and empower young talent and voices by actively engaging them in leadership roles and activities within the organization alongside established brands and organisations.