As the impact of climate change becomes more difficult to ignore, advocates for a more sustainable fashion industry are finally getting the legitimacy they seek. The United Nations announced Tuesday that it was joining forces with Nordic Initiative Clean and Ethical (NICE), a joint initiative by the Nordic fashion industry to address socio-environmental issues, to develop the first sector-specific initiative under the Global Compact, which helps businesses align their operations with fundamental principles of human rights, labor, and the environment.

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The partnership, which will target small- and medium-size businesses, promises to tackle the fashion industry’s copious social and environmental challenges on an international scale. “As an industry facing serious and widely publicized social and environmental challenges, the fashion and textile industry is uniquely positioned to launch a sectoral initiative under the umbrella of the UN Global Compact,” Georg Kell, executive director of the UN Global Compact, says in a statement. “We are very excited about this effort and look forward to collaborating with NICE and its partners.”

The partnership promises to tackle the fashion industry’s copious social and environmental challenges on a global scale.

As one of the world’s largest industries, fashion’s footprint cannot be discounted. Fashion has, historically, had the capacity to affect the society as a whole, according to Eva Kruse, chairwoman of the Nordic Fashion Association, which leads NICE, and CEO of the Danish Fashion Institute. “Therefore, fashion is a great place to start building a new creative future aligned with the ecosystem we are all a part of,” she adds. “We look very much forward to engaging leading experts and leaders of international fashion companies in the work of creating a meaningful and ambitious tool for the global fashion industry.”

The new UN Global Compact & Nice Fashion Code will debut at the Copenhagen Fashion Summit, the world’s largest summit on sustainability in fashion, in May.

+ United Nations Global Compact

[Via Ecotextile News]