The Fair Fashion Research Center launches at GCU New York

28 May 2015

GCU Chancellor Professor Muhammad Yunus

GCU Chancellor Professor Muhammad Yunus

Glasgow Caledonian University New York (GCU New York) and the British School of Fashion celebrated the opening of The Fair Fashion Center.  As both a repository and conduit of information, the centre will examine the business case for sustainability in the fashion industry.

With a particular concentration on business practices that produce positive financial, societal and environmental results, the Fair Fashion Center will have a keen focus on effective practices that provide a framework for the development, implementation and disclosure of responsible business principles related to human rights, labor and the environment.

“The fashion industry has always impacted more than just itself,” said GCU Chancellor and Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus.

“So many companies have started evolving towards sustainability and I am pleased that GCU and The Fair Fashion Center will help the industry find sustainable solutions for the world’s challenges.” 

“A $2.5trillion industry worldwide, fashion is the second largest user of water and the third highest polluter,” said Cara Smyth, Vice President of GCU New York. 

“There are fantastic initiatives underway and we need to capture them, understand the best practices and the greatest opportunities to scale. The potential for ongoing improvement, while sustaining profit margins and increasing shareholder value, is tremendous.”

The Fair Fashion Center will be structured to aggregate existing industry best practices, source new opportunities for engagement, and research emergent tactics and technologies in supply chain sustainability, social responsibility, ecology and environmental impact reduction. Guidance and input has been sought by the centre from key CEOs on research priorities. With an established global network of industry leaders committed to centre’s mission, the work is already under way.

The centre’s output will provide executives with actionable solutions to adopt across all business functions.  With a priority on profitability, the centre will work in partnership with the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, United Nations Global Compact, United Nations Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) among other strong industry alliances. 

The Fair Fashion Center joins the University’s two established and acclaimed research centres: The Yunus Centre for Social Business and Health, which examines the relationship between social business and health improvement; and the Centre for Climate Justice in association with the Mary Robinson Foundation, supporting climate justice for the world’s most vulnerable communities.

“I am delighted that the GCU New York campus is expanding its scope and further establishing the University’s global presence", said GCU Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Pamela Gilles CBE. 

“We have seen corporate statesmanship and business leadership in other sectors transform the world’s most critical challenges and we look forward to being at the service of the fashion industry to help unlock its power.”