Lululemon Athletica and H&M Group are among the backers of a $250 million fund aimed at accelerating efforts to reduce carbon emissions from the fashion industry’s supply chain, the nonprofit Apparel Impact Institute said Wednesday.
The institute’s Fashion Climate Fund, which brings together apparel brands, philanthropic donors and other industry stakeholders, will also hope to unlock another $2 billion once effective solutions are found and scaled up.
Other early supporters include the H&M Foundation and the Schmidt Family Foundation. More are expected to be announced in the coming months, and the fund hopes to raise $10 million from each.
“The urgency of solving the climate problem has never been more urgent. Early innovations and new solutions play a key role, but that impact won’t happen until they can scale and the industry begins to adopt and implement them,” said Christiane Dolva of the H&M Foundation.
“The Fashion Climate Fund will support new programs and solutions through a structured pipeline from pilot to scale. We believe it provides a powerful mechanism to overcome the challenges of implementing new solutions in the industry, thereby accelerating progress on climate action.
While many of the world’s leading companies are committed to achieving net zero emissions from their operations by mid-century and halving emissions by 2030, the Apparel Impact Institute says many significant barriers remain.
A recent study it conducted with the World Resources Institute found that 96 percent of the fashion industry’s emissions come from third-party farms and factories used by multiple companies.
The fund will help finance a range of initiatives, including expanding the use of renewable energy, developing next-generation materials, moving away from coal in manufacturing and improving energy efficiency.
It hopes to use philanthropic capital to help fund early-stage projects and partnerships with retailers to scale up successful initiatives, which will encourage other industry players to help meet future funding needs.