Changes are needed if fashion, food and tourism are to become more sustainable industries, said panellists of the October Days for Sustainable Development 2019 organised at the EIB by the Institute, the University of Luxembourg and CARITAS Luxembourg.

This was the fifth edition of the October Days, which have contributed to the global debate on the Sustainable Development Goals by enhancing dialogue among stakeholders since 2015.

“Changes are needed because fashion is already the second largest polluting industry contributing more to climate change than the aeronautical and shipping industries combined”, said Francisco de Paula Coelho, Dean of the Institute in his opening remarks. “Changes are needed because almost one billion people are undernourished while one third of the food we produce globally is wasted every year. And changes are needed because the number of tourists worldwide reached its highest point last year at 1.4 billion people, and is still growing.”

These industries are aware of their shortcomings and are already adapting, as illustrated by the Fashion Pact signed by 150 brands to make the fashion industry more sustainable presented last August at the G7 summit in Biarritz (France) or the Slow Food movement in Italy. But more needs to be done, said keynote speaker Christian Felber, initiator of Economy For the Common Good: “We must go from TINA (There Is No Alternative) to TAPA (There Are Plenty of Alternatives)”. All actors –companies, consumers, investors, regulators–must play their part in the indispensable evolution towards more sustainable practices, added the panellists in the three roundtables (on fashion, food and tourism).

Fifteen panellists from academia, research, multilateral institutions, NGOs and the private sector participated in the debates introduced by Francisco de Paula Coelho, Stéphane Pallage, Rector of the University of Luxembourg and Andreas Vogt, COO of Caritas Luxembourg.

Please click here for the full programme of the event.

Photo: Milena Amaral (Neovili) and Michael Stanley-Jones (UN Sustainable Alliance for Sustainable Fashion), Panel on Sustainable Practices in the Fashion Industry.