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Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers Sign Fashion Climate Charter

A trade body of export-oriented apparel makers in Bangladesh has joined the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action, a milestone agreement to collectively address the climate impact of fashion production across the entire value chain, beyond previous industry-wide commitments.

The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers & Exporters Association (BGMEA) stands alongside fellow industry groups such as Business for Social Responsibility, China National Textile and Apparel Council, Global Fashion Agenda, Global Organic Textile Standard, the Outdoor Industry Association, Textile Exchange, World Wildlife Fund International and Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals in throwing its support behind the charter’s principles and targets, which the climate-change arm of the United Nations based on the framework of the 2015 Paris Accord.

“The ready-made garment industry of Bangladesh is steadily heading towards sustainability,” Rubana Huq, president of the BGMEA, said in a statement. “By joining the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action, BGMEA commits to working collaboratively with brands, suppliers and other organizations towards GHG emission reductions pathway that puts fashion industry towards a low-carbon future.”

The agreement’s 40 signatories, which include Adidas, Burberry, Esprit, Guess, Gap, Hugo Boss, H&M, Inditex, Kering, Levi Strauss, Puma, Stella McCartney, Target and Maersk, have committed to an initial target of 30 percent greenhouse-gas emission reductions by 2020, along with goals related to decarbonizing the production phase, selecting climate-friendly and sustainable materials, low-carbon transport, improving consumer dialogue and awareness, working with the financing community and policymakers to catalyze scalable solutions and exploring circular business models.

“We welcome BGMEA to the Fashion Industry Charter family and we look forward to their leadership and contribution in inspiring manufacturers in Bangladesh and beyond, to raise climate ambition in a united effort to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees [Celsius],” said Niclas Svenningsen, head of global climate action at UN Climate Change.

The UN has convened six industry-led working groups to drive “concrete progress” on defined measures such as phasing out coal-fired boilers or other sources of coal-fired heat and power generation from 2025.