The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) is proud to announce a focused study to assess the environmental impact of New York Fashion Week with Boston Consulting Group (BCG), the leading expert on sustainability in fashion. 

The research project, which launched this week, will lead to an Impact Report assessing NYFW’s current ecosystem, including event production, logistics, transportation, and public relations and its impact on the environment. The report will identify actionable priorities and opportunities for transformation with a Playbook for Positive Change featuring tangible, phased steps that can be readily implemented. This unique resource is intended for a range of creatives including designers and brands, show producers, public relations, editors and other fashion week stakeholders. 

Sustainability is an important CFDA pillar. In 2019, the organization released the CFDA Guide to Sustainable Strategies and Sustainable Strategies Toolkit on CFDA.com. 

“It is imperative that the global fashion industry addresses climate change and the impact of fashion week on the environment,” said Steven Kolb, President and CEO of the CFDA. “Fashion shows are vital to the creative process of a designer. Given New York Fashion Week is global fashion’s largest ecosystem, the CFDA felt it was important to lead and supportively guide the fashion industry towards positive change.” 

 “Sustainability is finally at the top of the fashion industry’s agenda, and a priority topic for BCG,” said Sarah Willersdorf, a Managing Director and Partner and Global Head of Luxury at BCG. “We are thrilled to partner with the CFDA to better understand the environmental impact of NYFW and develop a path forward. We look forward to helping the CFDA become an industry leader on this topic, delivering innovative, impactful guidelines to all stakeholders in the NYFW ecosystem on how to integrate sustainability practices into their strategies and activations.” 

The United Nations Office of Partnerships (UNOP) and Conscious Fashion Campaign, a not-for-profit SDG awareness initiative supported by the UN, are collaborating on the CFDA and BCG study. 

“Given its global reach, fashion provides a unique platform to drive education and engagement around the Sustainable Development Goals, including issues such as responsible consumption and production and climate action,” said Lucie Brigham, Chief of Office for the United Nations Office for Partnerships. “While some industry leaders have taken steps towards sustainability and responsible practices, there is an urgent need for large-scale action. The United Nations Office for Partnerships welcomes the leadership of the CFDA to drive sustainability within the fashion industry events and looks forward to working with CFDA and the Conscious Fashion Campaign on making the industry more knowledgeable and impactful.” 

 “The NYFW Impact Report sets an exemplary precedent for fashion events globally to implement responsible marketing, operations and logistics that are mindful of social, economic and environmental impact,” said Kerry Bannigan, Founder of Conscious Fashion Campaign. “The Conscious Fashion Campaign champions the CFDA for being at the forefront of this effort.” 

The CFDA and BCG will reveal the NYFW Impact Report and Playbook for Positive Change this April in time for the 50th anniversary of Earth Month. 

Pictured: Looks from Gabriela Hearst’s pioneering carbon neutral show for Spring-Summer 2020.

About the CFDA 

Founded in 1962, the Council of Fashion Designers of America, Inc. (CFDA) is a not-for-profit trade association with a membership of almost 500 of America’s foremost womenswear, menswear, jewelry, and accessory designers. In addition to hosting the annual CFDA Fashion Awards, the organization owns the Fashion Calendar and is the organizer of the Official New York Fashion Week Schedule. It also offers programs which support professional development and scholarships. Member support is provided through the Strategic Partnerships Group, a group of high-profile companies offering designers strategic opportunities. The CFDA Foundation, Inc. is a separate not-for-profit with a focus on domestic production through the Fashion Manufacturing Initiative (FMI). The Foundation also aims to mobilize the membership to raise funds for charitable causes and engage in civic initiatives. For more information, please visit www.CFDA.com, facebook.com/cfda, instagram.com/cfda, twitter.com/cfda, cfda.tumblr.com, and youtube.com/cfdatv 

About Boston Consulting Group 

Boston Consulting Group partners with leaders in business and society to tackle their most important challenges and capture their greatest opportunities. BCG was the pioneer in business strategy when it was founded in 1963. Today, we help clients with total transformation—inspiring complex change, enabling organizations to grow, building competitive advantage, and driving bottom-line impact. 

To succeed, organizations must blend digital and human capabilities. Our diverse, global teams bring deep industry and functional expertise and a range of perspectives to spark change. BCG delivers solutions through leading-edge management consulting along with technology and design, corporate and digital ventures—and business purpose. We work in a uniquely collaborative model across the firm and throughout all levels of the client organization, generating results that allow our clients to thrive. 

About the Conscious Fashion Campaign: 

The Conscious Fashion Campaign, in collaboration with the United Nations Office for Partnerships, seeks to inspire worldwide prominent fashion industry tradeshows, fashion weeks, conferences and speaker series to implement responsible marketing, operations and logistics that are mindful of social, economic and environmental impact. To achieve the 2030 agenda the Conscious Fashion Campaign, founded by Kerry Bannigan, urges industry event leaders to integrate the Sustainable Development Goals into their business models, incorporate circular production solutions, highlight key innovations and facilitate knowledge share. The Conscious Fashion Campaign commits to actively support the Decade of Action and Delivery for Sustainable Development by bridging the gap between the United Nations and global major fashion events to enable the Sustainable Development Goals to scale and create multi-stakeholder partnerships with concrete strategies for action. www.consciousfashioncampaign.com 

About the United Nations Office for Partnerships:

The United Nations Office for Partnerships serves as a global gateway for catalyzing and building multi-stakeholder partnerships to advance the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). UNOP provides a platform for effective partner engagement and works to leverage the assets and expertise of a broad range of partners in furtherance of the SDGs. As a member of the UN Fashion Alliance and the advisor to the Conscious Fashion Campaign, UNOP facilitates awareness, advocacy and engagement to achieve the SDGs within the fashion and textile industry. https://www.un.org/partnerships/