At the invitation of the Gran Canaria Moda Calida fashion network, a program of action in the fashion textile sector on the island of Gran Canaria, members of the European Fashion Alliance (EFA), founded in Frankfurt in June 2022, gathered in Maspalomas on 19 and 20 October 2022, for the Gran Canaria Swim Week-the only Swim Wear Week in Europe-for their first summit.
The summit, attended by 59 representatives from 23 European countries, provided an opportunity to discuss and decide on some measures to support and promote the necessary transformation process of the fashion industry in Europe.
The alliance, composed of 29 organizations, including numerous fashion councils, fashion weeks and research and educational institutes, represents more than 10,000 European companies in the fashion industry and gathers from micro enterprises to large corporations.
One of the main themes of the meeting was the "Green Deal" formulated by the European Union in 2019 by Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050, to which, according to EFA's pledge, the fashion industry also urgently needs to contribute, as the CO₂ footprint and environmental impact of textile production and fashion consumption are still very high.
The European Fashion Alliance aims to make a significant contribution to achieving a CO₂-neutral, environmentally sustainable, non-toxic and fully circular textile industry and to raise awareness among fashion producers, designers and consumers.
To this end, they defined four pillars on which they will take the related measures, which are sustainability, education, policy and innovation.
The European Fashion Alliance believes that sustainability and digital transformation, along with innovation, education and labor market measures, will be the factors that will drive the fashion industry to make textiles more durable, repairable, reusable and recyclable. To accelerate this transition process, EFA will also focus on exchanges and mutual interactions among creatives and support young talents as drivers of change through actions, research and campaigns.
"Our mission is to educate consumers and fashion brands about what it means to be sustainable and to place a high value on creativity, emphasizing our appreciation for all the people who work in this system. One of EFA's main roles is to engage our Associates in storytelling what is behind their products and to represent a new idea of future fashion. By collaborating in the EFA, we can show other sectors what can be achieved by all working together," commented Carlo Capasa, President of the National Chamber for Italian Fashion, who participated the works together with other institutions and fashion weeks.
For the period from 2023 to 2027, the European Fashion Alliance has defined four pillars of its action: The establishment of an ethical, social and sustainable code of conduct for EFA members and, by extension, for the fashion industry; the creation of a new Green Deal for fashion at the European level based on a Europe-wide circular and social fashion ecosystem based on shared data and measurement; the creation and application of sustainable, technological and socially and culturally responsible training practices for key EFA stakeholders; and the empowerment of the younger generation as driving forces toward the digital, circular and social transition of the fashion industry.
Members agreed on the importance of translating EFA's goals into concrete action plans and policy frameworks within the next two to three years to promote change.
For 2023, EFA will therefore launch a Europe-wide survey to investigate the needs and challenges of micro, small, medium and large fashion and textile companies, as well as educational and research institutions and other industry stakeholders.
The knowledge gained should enable EFA to define new legislation for sustainable and circular textiles and the creation of new EU policies and programs to support fashion and creative industries.