The need for the fashion supply chain to work together toward a more sustainable future is more evident than ever, and a new global initiative has set out to tackle just that.
Crystal trims manufacturer Swarovski and Study Hall, the non-profit that fosters partnerships and education around sustainability literacy in fashion, announced Monday at the UN General Assembly in New York City a new venture aimed at promoting sustainable innovation across the various stakeholders in apparel production.
In partnership with the United Nations Office for Partnerships (UNOP), the companies announced the soft launch of One X One, a global initiative that will serve as an accelerator by pairing emerging designers with innovators focusing on sustainable practices in materials, manufacturing and consumption. Together they will work on projects aligned with UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and Study Hall’s guiding principles “Good for the Earth, Good for People.”
UN’s Sustainable Development Goals span quality education, gender equality and clean water and sanitation, to affordable and clean energy and economic growth.
Participants will work on one of three areas related to sustainable fashion: circularity, technological innovation and human-centered design. A committee of fashion and sustainability leaders from Swarovski, Study Hall and the UNOP will serve as advisors for the groups. Each team is awarded a grant to use toward their creations.
The program underscores the importance of collaboration, as sustainable brands can only do so much to lower their environmental footprint on their own. The real issue, according to Study Hall founder Celine Semaan, is stretching these efforts across the entire industry.
“We know innovations and solutions exist—we know they’re out there,” Semaan said at the event. “But why aren’t they implemented at scale in the industry? That is what we are trying to solve through this initiative.”
Study Hall selected Swarovski as a partner for its dedication to conscious luxury and sustainability at scale. The Austria-based crystal manufacturer abides by nine of the UN’s SDGs and complements Study Hall’s commitment to bridging science, human rights, technology, fashion and culture.
The company recycles 76 percent of the water used during the crystal manufacturing process, and over a third of all the energy consumed in the process is renewable.
One X One will officially launch at the end of 2019, with collaborators working through the spring and summer of 2020. The teams will present their projects at an exposé in September 2020.