UN unveils three initiatives to promote biodiversity in fashion

1 June 2011The United Nations trade and development body today announced three initiatives to encourage biodiversity in the world’s fashion industries. The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) will support competitions in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands aimed at encouraging the use of recycled or natural materials in fashion, and will work with a design group in Spain to further research biodiversity in clothing design and manufacture, according to an UNCTAD press statement. UNCTAD and the Fashioning the Future Awards campaign in London have announced an annual award category which seeks to encourage young designers “to pursue environmentally sustainable fashion design.” The agency said it is also will support the Green Fashion Competition of the Amsterdam International Fashion Week to identify “talented entrepreneurs in the industry who aim to create fashion businesses that sustain biodiversity.”In Madrid, UNCTAD is collaborating with the Coknit Connect of the European Institute of Design to support a research and experimentation project that “seeks to provide a sound basis for design students to use materials in innovative ways and in collaboration with clothing companies.”“It is expected that the project will result in the creation of limited series of appealing, trend-conscious fashion products made from recovered and/or recycled clothing and fabrics,” the agency said. “The fashion industry can play a significant role in conserving biodiversity through innovation and new ideas. The industry makes extensive use of raw materials derived from biodiversity, such as natural fabrics and animal skins.”