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LONDON – A new technology platform is aiming to unite the global fashion industry behind sustainability. The platform is backed by investors including Vivienne Westwood, Harold Tillman CBE, former chair of the British Fashion Council, Roland Mouret, pioneering suppliers Mantis World and Plexus Cotton Group as well as other leading brands and suppliers.

Together the group are building on the existing work of the Ethical Fashion Group, a global network and resource centre for better practices in the industry.

CO (www.commonobjective.co) aims to give fashion and apparel professionals the means to build efficient and sustainable supply chains by matching buyers, suppliers and collaborators with connections and information to enable better practices in their day to day work.

It was developed by the Ethical Fashion Group, in collaboration with partners, GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard), Fairtrade, WFTO (World Fairtrade Organisation), Fashion Revolution, and other leading fashion industry bodiies.

To support the launch of CO, and to coincide with the Copenhagen Fashion Summit (15-16 May) The Ethical Fashion Group has mapped the size and impact of the fashion industry – drawing from over 500 sources including the Pulse Report, the Fashion Transparency Index, market research data, and production data – thus providing clear reference points for improvements across the supply chain. The research will be updated, expanded, and republished regularly on the CO platform.

Among other things, the research points out that only 2.2 per cent of factories participate in some kind of ethical/sustainable initiative or recognised certification while 12,400 Olympic swimming pools worth of oil is used in a year in the fashion industry

Tamsin Lejeune, Ethical Fashion Forum founder said: “Our common objective is a world in which business works better for everyone. And the planet. CO is an innovative and practical solution to the challenges we face as an industry. We’re providing global sourcing and networking with a massive reach – and refining it with intelligent technology that helps users make more sustainable decisions.”

Harold Tillman, chairman of The Ethical Fashion Group added“CO is about Impact. Our goal is to transform the way fashion business is done – changing lives for millions of people in supply chains, on a global scale.

“Everyone working in the fashion industry is invited and encouraged to join and connect with potential customers, suppliers and collaborators, access the expertise and information to succeed sustainably in fashion, and make a material difference.”

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