Fast Company [Source Images: mbi/iStock, allanswart/iStock, artisteer/iStock]

President Biden, appoint a fashion czar!

President Joseph R. Biden
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Biden:

We are encouraged by early actions in your tenure to elevate and act on critical environmental, labor, health and domestic production issues. The fashion industry is a key actor in these areas and seeks to be involved in a coordinated action plan. The industry produces up to 10% of global carbon emissions and there are many fashion companies who have been engaged in
human rights violations, including relying on forced labor and unsafe factory conditions that have led to Covid-19 outbreaks. In the wake of the pandemic, the industry faces challenges on many fronts including labor, health and safety, trade, pollution, domestic production and supply chain transparency, among many others. These policy areas cut across sectors, government
agencies and national borders. A high level advisor is needed to coordinate the policies and people of the fashion industry. We, the undersigned fashion organizations and advocates, implore you to create a Fashion Czar position within your Administration.

A recent article from Dr. Elizabeth Segran in Fast Company magazine, first raised the idea of the creation of such a senior position. As the article states:

The fashion industry is a $2.5 trillion beast with tentacles in every corner of the world, and yet it operates with little oversight or regulation. It employs more than 75 million people, the majority of whom are poorly paid women, who are vulnerable to abuse. This vast global supply chain means that no single country has been forced to take ownership of the terrible damage it has caused to the planet and workers. President Biden has expressed a desire to make the United States a leader in the climate fight at home and abroad. As part of this effort, he can set the agenda on how to clean up the global fashion industry, paving the way for other nations to do their part.

US presidents have relied on czars, high level advisors, to coordinate US policy in a variety of industries and crises for the past 100 years, including WWI preparedness, auto manufacturing, energy, drugs, and Y2K, just to name a few. A czar should be empowered to bring together key industry participants, advocate for policy changes, and have a senior role within the
Administration. The creation of a Fashion Czar would signal your Administration’s commitment to humane labor and environmentally sound practices as well as a recognition of the role of fashion as a driver of the US economy.

As fashion week gets underway in the US, a spotlight will shine not just on the clothes being shown, but also the practices and policies of the industry. We stand ready to work with you to advance the creation of a Fashion Czar and to promote this vibrant, creative, and economically important industry.

Sincerely,

  • Everlane
  • ThredUp
  • Timberland
  • Rebecca Minkoff
  • Allbirds
  • Reformation
  • Mara Hoffman
  • Cuyana
  • AUrate
  • Aday
  • MZ Wallace
  • Clove
  • Summersalt
  • The Big Favorite
  • Frances Valentine
  • Outerknown
  • Another Tomorrow
  • Amendi
  • SOLGAARD
  • Hudson+Bleeker
  • Covalent
  • Kordal
  • Blueland
  • Dara Lamb
  • TIDAL New York

Experts

  • Elizabeth Segran, senior staff writer, Fast Company
  • Kerry Pieri, digital fashion director, Harper’s Bazaar
  • Elizabeth Cline, journalist and author of The Conscious Closet
  • Dana Thomas, journalist and author of Fashionopolis
  • Kathleen Grevers, Director of Education, Fashion Revolution USA
  • Lynda Grose, Chair of Fashion Design at the California College of the Arts
  • Arthur Van Benthem, professor of environmental economics, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
  • Caroline Priebe, Founder, Center for the Advancement of Garment Manufacturing
  • Thomasine Dolan Dow, Independent Sustainability Consultant
  • Willow Defebaugh, Editor-in-chief of Atmos
  • Sarah Krasley, CEO, Shimmy Technologies, Inc.
  • Sally Fox, Founder of Vreseis Ltd.
  • Tabitha St. Bernard-Jacobs, Racial Equity Fashion Consultant
  • Adrianne Wright, CEO of Rosie and co-founder of I Will Not Be Quiet
  • Amanda Curtis, CEO CoFounder Nineteenth Amendment & N.A.bld
  • Kimberly Guthrie, Associate Chair, Department of Fashion Design + Merchandising

Organizations

  • Custom Collaborative
  • Conscious Fashion Campaign
  • Circular Services Group
  • Fashion for All Foundation
  • Fashion Revolution USA
  • Fibershed
  • The New Fashion Initiative
  • New Standards Institute
  • The OR Foundation
  • PayUp Fashion
  • PoliticallyInFashion
  • Remake
  • Salter Textie Consulting
  • Sustainable Brooklyn
  • Sustainable Fashion Initiative
  • Sustainable Fashion Forum
  • Wearable Collections
  • Fashinnovation
  • Fashion Mingle
  • The Cerise Foundation
  • The Model Alliance

If you would like to add your name to this list, contact: hilary@politicallyinfashion.com

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